Last week, in response to a new report that had come out to sound the alarm on an issue, my boss was lamenting the fact that we’re constantly being asked to “wake-up” and worry about an issue, but that often this work doesn’t translate into action. “I know I’m being cynical, but what are the issues we can just do something about?” I answered him with food waste of course. And, this week has proven that to be true. In addition to changing my own behaviors, I’ve been sharing information about food waste with family, friends, colleagues, and anyone who seems vaguely interested. All of a sudden I’m noticing changes all around me.
It started this weekend with a card. While it’s not directly related, my mom sent me a clever and unexpected belated Valentine’s day card. The poem inside read, “I have just decided I really don’t like waste. So now I am recycling to prove to you good taste” The card itself was the packing from a box of wheat crackers. Classic mom!
Then, when I came into work on Monday our fridge was filled to the brim with everything from salad to pretzels. By way of explanation, I found this email in my inbox from my co-worker Ilene who is helping me lead a campaign in our office: “You will be so proud of me — we schlepped all the leftover food from the 8th floor of Huntsman over the bridge and back to Fels. There is a huge tray of cheese, a Ziploc bag of fruit, a bowl of hummus, edamame dip, and a bag on the little brown table with crackers and pita chips. And I brought back a salad that will feed an army! Also in the freezer are soft pretzels that will be great if you microwave them for 10 or 15 seconds. And cheese dip in the fridge for the pretzels. Also I have leftover Tastykakes in my office, so EAT!!!” For the last few days I’ve been eating the best, free meals. Yum!
Finally, last night my friend Eric came over for dinner carrying a little Tupperware container. Not wanting good chocolate and some extra cream to go to waste, he had used it up making a couple of delicious orange-flavored truffles. Heaven.
I’m liking this food waste campaign! Clever cards, free lunches and dinners, and specials treats – I’ll definitely keep this up after our class ends! (Lauren Hirshon)