Wasted Food Reduction Across the Hierarchy at UMass Amherst

By Kevin Pink, Marketing & Development Assistant

EPA Food Recovery HierarchyIt’s no secret that wasted food is a big issue in America. According to the USDA, 30- 40% of food produced in this country goes uneaten every year. In 2010, this amounted to 133 billion pounds of food, worth $161 billion. This wasted food doesn’t go to the American households classified as food insecure (12.3% of American households in 2016), but instead often ends up in landfills, where it creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Colleges and universities serve thousands of meals daily, and thus have the potential to produce a significant amount of wasted food. UMass Dining Services is the largest college dining services operation in the nation, serving 45,000 meals daily or 5.5 million meals per year. UMass takes a concerted approach to reducing wasted food along the guidelines of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recovery Hierarchy.

So how is UMass addressing the Food Recovery Hierarchy? Here are a few examples!

Source Reduction: Reduce the volume of surplus food generated.

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7 Ways to Make a Zero Waste Lunch that Fills You Up

By: Morgan O’Connor, Marketing EcoFellow

Whether you’re going back to school or back to work, it’s time to start thinking about how much of your lunch you’re actually eating. According to the EPA, students who bring lunch from home every day generate 67 pounds of waste a year! Follow these seven easy steps to practicing zero waste and keep your lunch out of the landfill and in your stomach!

Tips for a Zero Waste Lunch

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MA Teachers, Students, and Parents: Register for the GREEN TEAM!

Calling all students, teachers, and parents of Massachusetts! GREEN TEAM registration for the 2017-2018 school year is now open.

The GREEN TEAM is a state-wide environmental education initiative, sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The GREEN TEAM offers fun and interactive educational programming, and provides the tools for students and teachers to learn more about how to address key issues of environmental sustainability! The GREEN TEAM provides teachers with lesson plans and activities aligned with current Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education Curriculum Frameworks, including:

  • Science and Technology/Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • English Language Arts
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Reuse and Crafting at Hancock Shaker Village

Papermaking at the Hancock Shaker Village

The Center for EcoTechnology is thrilled to partner with Hancock Shaker Village to bring information about energy efficiency and waste reduction to their events and activities!

This past Friday we offered upcycling activities for children at the Village’s Free Fun Friday extravaganza. In one activity children repurposed tiles from our EcoBuilding Bargains reused build materials store into decorative coasters and trivets. We also offered a papermaking workshop, where kids made bookmarks out of recycled paper and pulped corn husks. About 150 children took home amazing tiles and bookmarks!

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Food Waste True or False

By Kevin Pink, Marketing & Development Assistant

It’s the season of farmers markets and cookouts! There’s always another new recipe to try out or leftovers from yet another cookout going into the refrigerator. We’ve all been there- whether it’s a half-eaten container of strawberries that grows fuzzy, or milk left a week or so too long, food waste is a common problem. Part of the issue is a lack of education on the topic. How much do you know about food waste in America? Join us for a little food waste true & false and put your knowledge to the test!

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