a hand writing a list. text on the right says "plan ahead and buy less."

Tis the Season!

It is that time of year again where the leaves have changed color, the air is crisp, and family and friends are gathering together for the holiday season. As we reunite and celebrate what we’re thankful for, it is important to remember our impact on the planet. Let’s make an effort to reduce food waste! Remember to incorporate the zero waste hierarchy: redesign, repurpose, reuse, recycle, and compost.  


ReFED, a national nonprofit working to end food waste shared a jarring fact: Americans will waste more than 305 million pounds of food this Thanksgiving; that’s about one pound of food wasted by every person in this country. That is an astounding figure alongside the fact that 38.5 million people lack food security. Not only is waste an environmental justice and social issue, it’s also a problem for the finite raw materials. According to ReFED, producing that wasted food releases the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as driving 169,000 cars for one full year, roughly 1,100,000 MTCO2e and uses about 104,000,000,000 gallons of water. 


While giving thanks and enjoying the delicious stuffing, yams, and turkeys on our plates, let’s try to reflect on the impact of waste and the ways we can take action to reduce our footprint.

 Here are six quick tips to reduce food waste this holiday season: 

1. Support businesses selling ugly produce and assist in eliminating food waste from the start of purchase.

2. Upcycle your food scraps into broth for soup. Meat bones and vegetable scraps are a great way to make a delicious home cooked soup!

3. Plan ahead and buy only what you need! Great tools have been created to make it easier on you to think ahead such as the Save the Food Guestimator

4. Freeze and share leftovers with family and friends. Freezing food is a great way to store items for a long time. Send leftovers home with your guests so everyone can enjoy the delicious food after the celebration is over. Sharing also builds community! 

5. Donate surplus food purchases to food donation organizations such as Feeding America

6.Compost the rest! If composting is available in your community, then place all the leftover food and organic material in your compost bin. Composting is a great way to sequester carbon from the atmosphere and support healthy soils.

Interested in finding out more about reducing food waste? Read our other blogs on this topic:
Race to Zero FOOD Waste: Your Actions

Race to Zero FOOD Waste: Food Production and Supply Chain Waste


This article was written by Outreach Coordinator Daniella Menendez. 

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