Up to 40% of the food in the United States is never eaten. But at the same time, one in eight Americans struggles to put enough food on the table. (NRDC Food Matters)
Approximately 30% of all solid waste generated in Durango is organic material that could be recovered or composted.
Reducing food waste and promoting sustainable local food will help meet waste diversion and greenhouse gas emissions goals, while also helping to reduce food poverty and support healthy local food systems.
Reduce the volume of surplus food generated.
Use the Save The Food Guest-imator to estimate how much food you need to keep your family and your guests happy and healthy and reduce over-purchasing food that will end up going uneaten. Save The Food also has great tips for meal planning, food storage and other ways to avoid wasting food.
Donate surplus food to feed hungry people. More than 41 million people in the U.S. are considered food insecure. Food donation is a unique opportunity to support both waste reduction efforts and alleviate hunger.
In Durango, considering donating excess safe, edible food to the Durango Food Bank or Manna Soup Kitchen. Check the website or call ahead to make sure that you are donating food that can be safely rescued for others to enjoy.
Get in touch with the Good Food Collective, a local non-profit working on food security, food justice and our regional food economy to find our more about food rescue and volunteering opportunities. Their online community gleaning platform connects fruit tree owners looking for people to harvest and use their fruit, with community members and volunteer groups looking to harvest for donation to food banks and pantries.
Consider feeding food scraps to your animals, or asking around to see if anyone else has hungry animals who would gobble them up. Check out our annual Pumpkin Drop-off to ensure your fall gourds end up feeding hungry farm animals rather than leaving them out as bear attractants, or chucking them in the trash.
You have tried to reduce and rescue your food waste but still have scraps leftover. It happens.
Consider composting at home (be sure to follow our guidelines) or signing up for curbside organic waste collection through Table to Farm to ensure the energy from your leftovers is captured as a resource.
Composting can not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions created when food breaks down slowly in landfill, but create a valuable material that can be used to improve soil structure, provide erosion control, increase water retention and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers.