NEW YORK (WTEN) – On the eve of Thanksgiving, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reminding families and communities to limit food waste when planning dinner. They say that being mindful about wasting food is an important environmental consideration.
“Over 70 billion pounds of food waste reach our landfills every year, contributing to methane emissions and wasting energy and resources across the food supply chain,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
According to the EPA, food represents 24% of municipal solid waste in landfills, more than any other type of trash. In the U.S., landfills are the third-biggest source of human emissions of methane. Thus, wasted food contributes significantly to climate change.
Wheeler says you can help by preparing only what you need and donating what you can to feed others. Reducing waste and redirecting excess food to people, animals, or energy production provides immediate benefits to the environment, public health, and even the family budget at the grocery store.
Food Waste Reduction Tips
- Stick to shopping lists
- “Shop” the refrigerator and pantry first
- Plan a leftovers night
- Freeze and/or share extra food
- Donate unopened, non-perishable food to local charities
In the Capital District, the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York is a major destination for donated food. You can find local food banks through Feeding America, Sustainable America, and Ample Harvest.