Earth Day has come a long way from its beginnings in 1970. It is now observed worldwide on April 22 and, if you are looking for a way to participate, I'm sure you can find a local celebration, service project or other activities in your area. Here in Truckee, I plan to go to the Tahoe Truckee Earth Day Celebration at Squaw Valley.
There are many things that you can focus on for Earth Day, but I wanted to do something that I can continue after Earth Day, so I decided to raise awareness for food waste. Right now countries like France have banned supermarkets from throwing away food by directing them to compost or donate all expiring or unsold food.
Here in the US nearly 40 % of our food is thrown away. I know I have wasted my share of food in the kitchen and I'm going to work on wasting less this year. Food waste is now the single largest contributor to landfills. And studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency show that we could feed over 25 million Americans living in food-insecure homes if we were to reduce food waste by just 15 percent.
What we can do to help with food waste now:
- Shop Smarter – make a meal plan and shop only for those items you will use during the week
- Plan an "eat the leftovers" night each week
- Cook in bulk and freeze the left overs
- Share extra produce with neighbors or food pantries
- Some produce can be used beyond its use by date think soups, casseroles, stir fries, sauces, baked goods, pancakes or smoothies.
- Compost unused food
If you're looking for a way to celebrate, google Earth Day activities in your town, and if you want to learn more about food waste learn more here:
Happy Earth Day!