Monday, 13 September 2010 11:56

Cutting Campus Food Waste & Global Warming Emissions

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About one-quarter of all the food prepared in the U.S. gets thrown out, according to the EPA. That's 31 million tons of food each year, much of which decomposes in landfills to produce methane—a heat-trapping gas about 23 times more potent than CO2. The foodservice company Sodexo is creating awareness about food waste among college students, linking waste to climate change. Sodexo's campaign, "Stop Wasting Food,"  is a follow-up to an Earth Day campaign in 2008 which resulted in 340 campuses eliminating the use of food trays. The current campaign urges students to take only what they can eat at campus dining facilities. Tom Post, Sodexo's president of campus services, said, "We are so careful to source and serve food for our customers in a sustainable way but if locally-sourced food ends up in a landfill then we're simply creating another environmental problem. The good news is that by simply thinking before we eat, we can trash our wasteful habits and dramatically reduce food waste today." In addition to methane from food waste, it entails disposal and therefore carbon emissions from transporting the waste. Food waste is also wasted resources. To reduce waste, Sodexo said it had helped National Geographic reduce water consumption by 18 percent in its cafeteria between 2006 and 2009. The company also assisted Cox Communications with improved recycling and composting, cutting waste by 80 percent. Learn more about how you can reduce your climate impact by visiting Carbonfund.org's Save Energy page: www.carbonfund.org/saveenergy.
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