April 2016 
environmental education made easy

From Atlantic to Pacific and everywhere in between, all the talk is wasted food and food scraps. During April, I attended the Road to Zero Waste conference, part of SWANApalooza in Charleston, South Carolina, the SWANA Western Regional Symposium in San Luis Obispo, California, and the Indiana Food Scrap Initiative meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. As I write this, I'm about to join a webinar on the nationwide public service campaign to reduce food waste. To quote Athens-Clarke County, Georgia's most recent newsletter, "Food waste is low-hanging fruit for landfill diversion." 

In sessions and conversations, I was reminded over and over again that language matters. "Food waste." "Food scraps." "Wasted food." Do you hear the differences? How we talk about food affects how people think about it and ultimately what they will do about it. When we talk about "wasted food," it is easier to engage people in conversations about reducing food purchases and discards, as well as donating unneeded food. When we discuss "food scraps," the conversation can move more easily to recycling, composting, and conversion options.

Communication and education are central to changing the conversation around food, to building partnerships, and to engaging citizens. We are here to help you craft messages that will not just raise awareness, but also change behavior.

Happy eating - and composting!

Elizabeth Roe
Eco Partners
Food Waste Is Low-hanging Fruit
Globally, about a third of the food that is produced goes uneaten. That's enough to feed two billion people, more than a third of Earth's population. The numbers in America are stunning:
  • $218 billion: the annual spending to grow, transport, process, and dispose of food that is never eaten
  • 52 million tons: the amount of food sent to landfills
  • 10 million tons: the amount of food never harvested
  • 14 percent: the percentage of Americans who are food insecure, without reliable access to sufficient nutritious, affordable food.
Similar to the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" mantra you're already familiar with, the EPA has developed a hierarchy of actions to achieve this goal. Learn more about them in our recent blog post, based on the Athens-Clarke County newsletter article. The National Resources Defense Council and the Ad Council kicked off a new public service campaign last week. The tagline is: "Cook It, Store It, Share It. Just Don't Waste It." Learn more about the program and see available free resources

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