Thanksgiving is fast approaching, bringing the friend and family food fest with it! While we prepare the feast and give thanks for the plentiful food we have, it is important to consider the amount of food that goes to waste this holiday season.
Food is one of the most important areas of sustainability in our daily lives and it is often overlooked! Reducing food waste is important for everyone because it saves both money and resources.
Did you know that the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 35 percent of turkey meat cooked at Thanksgiving gets wasted?
That’s a lot of wasted resources!
When we reduce food waste we save:
- The resources and water used to grow crops and raise animals
- Manufacturing and energy resources
- Transportation resources and greenhouse gas emissions
- Money by buying less and throwing away less
- Disposal costs and emissions
That last one is significant– food sent to landfills is a powerful source of methane. A whopping 40 percent of food meant for eating is thrown away.
All of this rotting food produces a lot of greenhouse gases. In fact if food waste could be represented as its own country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the U.S.
Why does Salt Lake City have a food policy program? Community gardens, an incubator kitchen, pesticide free resources, farmers’ markets… it all helps foster a healthy city and flourishing economy. Watch the video and then scroll through the blog post to find more details about the programs and initiatives mentioned by our program manager Bridget Stuchly.
By Brooke Taylor
Salt Lake City works in partnership with The Green Urban Lunch Box, a local nonprofit organization aimed to “empower people to engage in local food production by using the resources available in their community” to operate FruitShare. Volunteers help pick fruit from residents’ registered trees, then distribute the harvest 3 ways:
1/3 goes to homeowners, 1/3 goes to volunteers, 1/3 goes to hunger relief (Utah Food Bank, local food pantries, shelters, health clinics, and anti-hunger organizations)
by Maggie McCormick
The 12-month program promoting sustainability education and action for city employees, Empower SLC, has come to an end. After 12 themes and nearly 50 weekly topics, we hope the lessons learned will help SLC Corp employees adopt more sustainable practices into their everyday lives.
Empower SLC, which began in April 2016, was designed as a training platform by Sustain3 and implemented by the Sustainability Department for Salt Lake City’s nearly 3,000 employees. Our goal was to encourage sustainable practices amongst city staff. Each month, employees participated in monthly themes, such as waste reduction, energy conservation, water conservation, and clean air transportation, and completed weekly lessons and activities.
Salt Lake City Publishes Plan to Tackle Climate Change and Carbon Pollution
Climate Positive plan prioritizes regional collaboration, community participation, and innovation to reduce pollution and enhance local resilience to warming temperatures.
Salt Lake City has released a comprehensive plan entitled Climate Positive 2040, detailing ways the Capitol City will sustain its leadership role in addressing climate change.
Salt Lake City is proud to unveil a new grant program, offering $85,000 to spur local sustainable farming efforts.
Because just 3 percent of the fruits and 2 percent of the vegetables consumed by residents are grown in Utah, this program aims to support a more resilient local food system.
In partnership with Urban Food Connections of Utah—the non-profit affiliated with the Downtown Alliance– we’ll be granting money to farmers who want to expand their operations with sustainability in mind. Read more
by Tera Clausen, SLCgreen intern
Holiday season is upon us once again.
Which means it’s time to come together with family and friends to celebrate– and what holiday celebration would be complete without delicious feasts and yummy treats?
At this time of plentiful feasting, we thought it’d be a great time to talk about food.
One of my recent tasks here at SLCgreen was to compile information for a new webpage, called Dining with Discretion. This section is a bit different than SLCgreen’s other pages, in that it discusses the big picture way our food choices have an environmental impact.
I was surprised by some of what I found:
- Did you know that if every American chose to not eat meat and cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of taking 7.6 million cars off the road?
- Are you aware that rain forests are being cut at the rate of 36 football fields per minute each year to make room for cattle grazing and farming?
These are sobering and overwhelming statistics. But our goal is to empower you with information necessary to make a difference– whether that’s through a few small changes or even bigger ones.
That’s what “Dining with Discretion” means.
Discretion is the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation, so to Dine with Discretion means to make food choices with the understanding of how the food system affects our world.
Talking about Food Choices at the Office
As I discussed webpage content with my supervisor, one of my co-workers in our neighboring division overheard the idea of giving up meat and cheese one day a week. She joined the conversation and was adamant that she would never give up meat or cheese. The longer we discussed food choices, the more of our fellow SLC Corp co-workers began joining in on the conversation. When I left work that day I had no idea that this conversation would continue for several days. While many people had varying opinions, one thing became very clear – food can be a divisive topic.
However, the question remains: Do people actually want to make these choices, especially when it comes to animal products?
I decided to do a little “market research” by asking around the Public Services office whether people would be willing to alter their behaviors to Dine with Discretion. Read more