By Sally Stovall
“Think of the causes of global warming, and fossil fuel energy probably comes to mind. Less conspicuous are the consequences of breakfast, lunch and dinner. . . [but] what we eat turns out to be the number one cause of global warming.” -- Paul Hawken, DRAWDOWN, pg. 37
In atmospheric terms drawdown is that point at which greenhouse gasses peak and begin to decline on a year to year basis. Research conducted by a team of 70 researchers, and reviewed by 120 advisers and 40 outside scientific reviewers identified 80 solutions which are highlighted in the book titled "DRAWDOWN," that together could bring the world to the point of drawdown within 30 years.
Solutions were ranked in order of their potential to drawdown greenhouse gases and/or prevent them from entering the atmosphere. Two of the top four of these solutions, those with the greatest potential to move us in the right direction, are ones that we can influence (for good or for ill) in our own homes every single day!
Solution No. 3 is reduced food waste. Understanding of the importance of reducing food waste is growing. France has recently become the first country to prohibit supermarkets from throwing away food based on its sell-by date. They are required to donate the food to a charity rather than dispose of it. (article on NPR, Febrary 24, 2018).
We may be a long way from mandating food donations nationally, but there is a lot that we can do in our own homes. Within the US, we are responsible in our homes for 43% of the food waste. Since no one really likes wasting food, check out some of the ideas highlighted in “Food waste is the world’s dumbest problem” an entertaining and informative (sometimes even inspiring) video developed by UCLA visiting researcher, M. Sanjayan, through the University of California’s Climate Lab.
Throughout the summer there will be opportunities to learn more about reducing food waste at green block party “show & tell” programs featuring sustainable food strategies. Learn more at greencommunityconnections.org/green-guides/ and sign-up for this engaging interactive program for your own block here.