It’s that time of year again, the holiday season! In this post we will be talking about how you can decrease the environmental impact of your Thanksgiving… and also save money. Every year after a thanksgiving meal it seems like there’s so much food leftover. It is important we try our best to divert food from going to landfills. How much do you know about food waste?Join us in a true & false about food waste and test your knowledge!

“America wastes 40% of our food supply every year”

True. According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Americans waste 40% of our food supply each year which translates to 133 billion pounds of food, which is worth $161 billion. So the average american household is losing around $2,275 annually!

“The best way to prevent wasted produce is storing all fruits and veggies in the refrigerator.”

False. Refrigeration is great for leafy greens, asparagus, and many other fruits and vegetables, however these fruits and vegetables are better stored at room temperature, including: tomatoes, potatoes, avocados, bananas, melons, stone fruits like peaches and nectarines.

“I should never eat food that is past the ‘sell by’ date.”

False. Sell by dates do not indicate food safety, only a rough estimate of product freshness. The best tool for knowing if food is expired is your nose! 

“I can put eggshells in my backyard compost bin”

True. Eggshells add calcium. They will break down soil over time. Other dairy products and meat should not be composted in a residential setting because they may attract animals.

“Composting is the best way to prevent food waste.”

False. The best way to prevent food waste is to reduce what you buy to begin with. Ways you can do this: plan your meals ahead of time, shop accordingly, eat your leftovers, compost things that you won’t eat like inedible vegetable trimmings or peels.

We hope you’ve learned some tips you can apply to your Thanksgiving. Most importantly, we hope you’ve learned that it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to save energy and reduce waste, and you may save some money in the process. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at CET!

By Olivia Horwitz and Jonathan Ruiz, EcoFellows ’18-’19