Over the course of three weekday evenings in early April, the Champlain College Eco-Reps sorted and weighed food waste in the Champlain College Dining Hall during the dinner time rush (5-7 pm). During these three sessions, there was a total of 1419 people in the dining hall. From these diners, 201.6 pounds of waste was collected, with an average of 67.2 pounds collected each night. Of this waste, an average of 91.47% was edible. This includes includes anything from pizza crusts to completely untouched meals; it is any food that could have been eaten but was instead thrown away. This is an improvement from last year: in 2015, students threw away an average of .25 pounds of food per person per night, but this year, students threw away an average of .13 pounds per person per night. The total amount of edible waste collected over the three night span was 184.5 pounds. This much food could feed a family of four for over 12 days, or provide daily meals to 46 people.
CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE ECO-REPS ANNUAL
Food WASTE WEIGH-IN
What is the weigh-in all about?
- Eco-Reps will be sorting your dinner scraps to collect data about your uneaten food
- From this data, we will evaluate Champlain’s sustainability in terms of food waste
- The weigh-in is intended to raise awareness about sustainable eating habits, waste diversion, and food insecurity
What are you measuring?
- We want to see how much edible food waste we throw away in the dining hall
- We are doing this by separating your edible waste from inedible compost as you return your dishes, then weighing the edible scraps
Some facts about food waste…
- 50% of the food prepared in North America and Europe never gets eaten
- In the US, this is about 34 million tons of food wasted annually
- Vermont plans to prohibit food waste in landfills by 2020, enforcing the use of composting
- The food thrown away in North America and Europe would be enough to feed the world’s hungry three times over
Want to learn more?
- Dive! (2011) https://divethefilm.com/
- Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story (2015) https://www.foodwastemovie.com/
- NRDC Issue Paper (2012) Wasted: How American is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/wasted-food- IP.pdf
- National Geographic (2016) How ‘Ugly’ Fruits and Vegetables Can Help Solve World Hunger https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/03/global-food- waste-statistics/
- USDA’s Food Waste Challenge https://www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/index.htm
- UNEP’s World Food Day – Food Waste: The Facts https://www.worldfooddayusa.org/food_waste_the_facts