It seems, at least according to my inbox, that Earth Day is once again becoming a time to take action instead of just a marketing holiday. In years past, I've been bombarded with emails requesting reviews for sustainable products. Some were truly sustainable and some were total greenwashing, but regardless, for several years, Earth Day seemed more about what you could buy than about what you could do for the Earth.
This year, I received fewer emails about buying things for Earth Day and more emails about taking Earth-friendly actions. A few focused on food waste, one of the things we're constantly battling at my house.
Specifically, the Natural Resources Defense Council sent me information about its new Save the Food initiative. Partnering with the Ad Council, the group has launched savethefood.com with statistics, tips and this PSA, which hits very close to home.
The Save the Food website explains food waste in useful terms, particularly the way it presents how much water is wasted when food is thrown away by explaining it in shower minutes.
When you throw away a pound of chicken, it's as if you are running the shower for 104 minutes. A wasted pound of bananas is the equivalent of running a shower for 42 minutes. And one pound of wasted cheese uses up the equivalent of 122 minutes — more than two hours. A pound of beef waste is the equivalent of a 370-minute shower. That's more than six hours — no one would run the shower for that long.
The website also has tips for shopping and deciphering those confusing sell-by and use-by dates on food packages and storing foods so they last longer.
If you're looking for a way to observe Earth Day this year, an easy way is to go into your kitchen, find a food that needs to be used up before it goes bad, and create a meal from it. Here are some ideas: