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Easy and Effective Ways to Reduce Food Waste at Thanksgiving

Release Date: 11/24/2009
Contact Information: See below

SAN FRANCISCO – Most people generate more trash than normal during the holidays. In fact, the volume of household waste in the United States generally increases 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day – that’s about 1 million extra tons.

Did you know that food waste accounts for 18% of municipal solid waste sent to landfills? More than 30 million tons of food waste is sent to the landfills each year. In the U.S., less than 3% of food waste is being diverted from landfills.

There are lots of easy and effective ways to minimize holiday waste.

Here are five holiday tips anyone can employ to reduce their impact on the environment this Thanksgiving:

Tip #1: Have a plan! If you don't know how much turkey or potatoes you need to feed all of your guests, find out! You can help reduce food waste by only cooking at much as you’ll need. There are lots of tools on-line to help with this, one free calculation tool is available at: www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/perfect_portions

Tip #2: Eat your leftovers! This one may seem obvious, but lots of leftovers wind up in a landfill. Instead of throwing away your excess food, make a delicious snack or meal out of your Thanksgiving Day leftovers!

Tip #3: Compost your food waste! If you don't have a food collection system in your neighborhood, you can start your own compost pile. Find out how at: http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/composting/by_compost.htm

Tip #4: Use food waste as a resource! Compost it to make a natural fertilizer. Or anaerobically digest it to create energy!

Tip # 5: Give Back! Find a local non-profit agency to donate your excess food to. Not only will you be making a huge difference for someone in need, you’ll also help divert waste from a local landfill.

If you would like to discuss potential story ideas or learn more about any of these topics, please contact one of the media liaisons listed below.

Northern California: Mary Simms (415) 947-4270, simms.mary@epa.gov
Central California: Nahal Mogharabi, (415) 947-4370, mogharabi.nahal@epa.gov
Southern California: Francisco Arcaute (213) 244-1815, arcaute.francisco@epa.gov
Arizona/Nevada: Margot Perez-Sullivan (415) 947-4149 perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov
Hawaii/Pacific Islands: Dean Higuchi (808) 541-2711 higuchi.dean@epa.gov

Please include your name, media affiliation, contact information and deadline in your request.


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