Go Green News

Press Release: State, Local Officials Gather to Discuss the Issue of Wasted Food in Rhode Island

November 20, 2018

For Further information:
Lorenzo Macaluso, CET, 413-218-1543


ANNOUNCEMENT EVENT TODAY:

  • Buxton Hollow Farm, North Smithfield, RI
  • 10:30 a.m.
  • Photo Op: compost operation tour

State, Local Officials Gather to Discuss the Issue of Wasted Food in Rhode Island
The Center for EcoTechnology has received federal funding to help address the critical issue

For many people in Rhode Island, Thanksgiving is a time of family gatherings and enjoyable eating. It’s also a time when many people and businesses donate to food rescue organizations, food pantries and soup kitchens, to ensure that the state’s hungriest people get warm, nutritious meals.

Meanwhile, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 40% of food in the USA goes uneaten. This wasted food is valued at approximately $165 billion annually and when disposed of in a landfill, is a significant contributor to greenhouse gases. Diversion from disposal of food waste in the State, be it by reduction of such waste in the first place, by donation to feed people or animals, or by composting and anaerobic digestion, is a priority.

New Federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) will address this issue by providing technical assistance to help businesses and institutions reduce wasted food.

The funding was announced today by Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin at Buxton Hollow Farm in North Smithfield. The announcement also highlighted the farm’s impressive compost operation, run by The Compost Plant.

With the Federal funds it has received, CET expects to provide technical assistance to many businesses across the state to successfully and cost effectively implement strategies to address their wasted food.  These efforts will also help businesses like the Compost Plant, grow and succeed.

“The amount of food that is wasted every year is staggering,” said Congressman Langevin, who has convened a Rhode Island Food Advisory Committee to better understand the agriculture and dining landscape in the state. “That’s why I’m thrilled that the Center for EcoTechnology has secured federal funding to help businesses across Rhode Island address this problem through efficient and cost-effective strategies. Food is a precious resource, and we cannot afford to waste it.”

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Food Waste: True or False

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!

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DIY Vintage Halloween Light Fixture

Halloween is all about the creative costumes and fun decorations. Rather than utilizing disposable decor from the store, read more to learn how to make a completely plastic-free light that will make a spooky addition to your window display or front porch! Adjust your desired design to fit any holiday or celebration, you can cut out any shape to be illuminated!

 

Materials Needed:

  • Clear or white round light fixture
  • Light orange paint
  • Textured sponge
  • Black construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue or tape
  • Light source (lantern, battery-operated candles, fairy lights)

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Food Donation Resources for New York State

New York may be known for its bright lights, tourist attractions, and giant slices of pizza, but the state could also soon be known as a leader in diverting food waste from landfills! As the state of New York considers implementing a food waste ban, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NY DEC) and New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) are working together to assist businesses and service providers with their wasted food diversion. The Center for EcoTechnology (CET) has partnered with NYSP2I to continue to provide wasted food expertise for entities throughout the state. One of the most recent resources, a series of legal fact sheets regarding food donation in NY, was developed in collaboration with the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic.

WFS food donation

Similar fact sheets have been helpful for the food industry in other states, such as Massachusetts and Connecticut. These resources have already been a huge benefit for food waste generators and service providers by adding confidence surrounding the rules and protections for their businesses. The recently released New York documents explain the legal backgrounds of liability protections, date labeling laws, tax incentives, and feeding food scraps to animals.

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5 Ways to Repurpose Fallen Leaves

The leaves have started turning beautiful colors and fall is under way! With the new season comes new opportunities to find creative purposes for your fall leaf litter. We have five tips to help you get the most out of your fall leaves!

  1. Add your fallen leaves to your compost pile!

The carbon in leaves is essential to a healthy compost pile by adding nutrients and keeping moisture. You can pile them up next to your compost and add them in gradually all year. Don’t have a compost pile? Get started here, or check out your local farm to see if you can donate your leaves to their compost pile!

  1. Use them in your potted plants.

Mix dried leaves in the top two to three inches of soil. Overtime the leaves will decompose and increase nutrients, giving your potted plants a healthy start!

  1. Feed your lawn by just mowing over leaves!

Instead of raking up your leaves, just go over your whole yard with your lawn mower, this will chop up the leaves, spread them out, and allow them to decompose throughout the winter. Shredded leaves are also a cost effective alternative to store bought mulch and will help protect grass, flower buds and seeds in your yard.

  1. Create art projects with your fallen leaves!

Pick the most beautiful fall leaves to preserve and use for seasonal decorations. Leaves are a versatile art material. You can use them to stuff scarecrows, make a pretty fall wreath, and even for leaf rubbing art. If you would like to make leaf rubbing art, place dried leaves under a sheet of paper and shade over each leaf with a colored pencil!

  1. Gather leaves and help the critters.

Many wildlife species live or rely on the leaves to find food or make habitats. If you want to keep your yard clean, but help with wildlife then rake up the leaves and pill them up in a far corner of your yard. If you have a woodsy area on your property you can place them there!

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