The Phoenix of Waste

 

The Natural Resources Defense Council  teamed with The Ad Council on this video to educate people about Food Waste.  Set to Michael Giacchino’s Academy Award Winning soundtrack from the critically acclaimed movie “Up,” the life of a strawberry was created pro bono by SapientNitro as part of a new “Save The Food” campaign.

It is part of a national public service campaign to combat food waste from its largest source — consumers.  We collectively waste more food than grocery stores, restaurants or farms.

ReFED, Rethink Food Waste Through Economics and Data, is a collaboration of over 30 business, government, investor, foundation, and nonprofit leaders committed  to reducing food waste in the US.  “The magnitude of the food waste problem is difficult to comprehend,” states the report. “The U.S. spends $218 billion a year — 1.3 percent of GDP — growing, processing, transporting and disposing of food that is never eaten.”

The “Roadmap To Reduce U.S. Food Waste By 20 Percent”, released by ReFED on March 9, is the first national economic study on food waste to develop a plan of action by this multistakeholder group.

The Roadmap estimates that it will cost $18 billion over a decade, or roughly $2 billion annually, to reduce food waste by 20 percent.  The economic value of all the food we waste is equivalent to $218 billion annually, so investing that one percent to drive a 20 percent food waste reduction can unlock $100 billion in savings over a decade.

The Roadmap focuses on the three most scalable solutions for each category:  Prevention: Standardized date labeling; Consumer education campaigns; and Waste tracking and analytics.  Recovery: Donation tax incentives; Standardized donation regulation; and Donation matching software.  Recycling: Centralized composting; Centralized anaerobic digestion; and Water resource recovery facilities with anaerobic digestion.

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One of the nation’s greatest success stories is Phoenix, Arizona.  By creating efficient ways to prevent wasted food, donate food and divert food waste, they are a leader in food waste management.

For example, during Super Bowl 49, hundreds of thousands of rabid football fans converged on downtown Phoenix for a week of partying before the big game.  Phoenix’s “Kick the Waste Initiative” was the perfect test for their pilot food waste collection and composting program.  By placing containers for food scraps and food-soiled paper in the 12-block perimeter of the party zone for the Super Bowl, they achieved a 73 percent diversion rate.  This is consistent with ReFED’s analysis, which finds that 73 percent of recycling opportunity is expected to come from centralized composting and anaerobic digestion facilities.  Through the same program, the city took the food scraps and soiled paper to their new pilot composting facility and three months later, they used it on city landscape and gardening projects.

In January 2016, Phoenix hosted the College Football Playoffs  increasing their diversion rate to 82 percent of the event’s waste.

The nation has a 50 percent food waste reduction goal by 2030.  Under a federal government initiative to lead partnerships between charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, the private sector and local, state and tribal governments, it intends to reduce food waste in the United States as an important step in improving  food security and conserving our nation’s natural resources.    http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/09/0257.xml

Then there is Jake Mace!  He has the best “at home” compost instructions on the web. You can follow him at JakeMace.com but better yet click on his link and learn how you can make the most amazing compost. http://i1os.com/How_to_Make_Amazing_COMPOST_at_Home!_by_VeganAthlete/5VIFtNCgv28.video

How You Can Help:

Awareness!

  • What are you eating?
  • How is it packaged?
  • How far did it travel to get to you?
  • How was it grown or processed?
  • Will you eat it or throw it away?
  • Can it be composted?
  • Make jam!  It’s a lot easier than you think.

Until next week, images

Garbage Girl

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Rats Aren’t Wasting Brooklyn’s Popularity

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Headlines have recently reported the increasing number of rats moving to Brooklyn.  The upscaled popularity of the borough seems to be attracting more than millionaires!

With the hopes of curtailing New York’s rat problem once and for all, Mayor de Blasio is spending $3 million on a citywide rodent-extermination plan.   Our rats have been battle-hardened since the city was born so it will take a citywide, every person doing their part, push to make a dent.

Rodent complaints surged 19 percent citywide from 20,545 complaints to 24,374.  You too, can complain about rats by calling 311.  Or  http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/2374/rodent-complaint   to report rat sightings.

The highest number of rat calls in the city came from Brooklyn with 7,842, Bronx had the second-highest with 5,573, Manhattan had 5,508 complaints, followed by Queens with 3,987 and Staten Island with 1,197.

The most complaints came from residents of 335 E 148th St.  Called, Bronx’s Rat Central, they set the record for the most rodent complaints at a single address by calling the city’s complaint hot line 131 times this year.

 

Rats are popular these days; gaining celebrity on social media.  Complete with commentary and lots of high pitched screeching these rat videos can actually get you to admire the critters.

There’s the pigeon killing rat caught on video in Brooklyn.  In broad daylight, this rat caught an injured pigeon by the neck and dragged it a few feet.  The pigeon freed itself but the rat gave chase, showed a fearless determination, and finished the job.  John Freund recorded the encounter in Williamsburg and posted the clip to YouTube last year — but the video suddenly went viral this week.

Rats in New York are now being given names for their notoriety, like Pizza Rat.  A bold undetered vermin who carried a slice of pepperoni pizza down a flight of subway stairs. Then there is McDonald’s Rat.  This guy caused all sorts of problems for the food chain in Thailand when its behavior went viral.  We topped that, though, with Subway Rat.  Not the normal commute that day when this rat came on board with all of the other passengers.

The video that really peaked our yuck factor was Selfie Rat.  A rat crawled into the lap of a man sleeping on the subway platform and took a picture of itself with the man’s phone.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CvWXG8gqEU

If you need more! You can take a tour with Motherboard and a Rodentologist to Columbia Park in Chinatown and learn all about rats.

How You Can Help:

  • Keep food waste really well contained.
  • Place household waste at curbside as close as possible to pickup times.
  • Use the new really cool solar powered waste compacting and signaling receptacles, that the Sanitation Department gave us, for all of your street trash.
  • Never litter food on city streets or sidewalks.
  • Report rats or mice where food is served.
  • Report rats or mice in sewers, on streets or sidewalks.
  • Report rats or mice in public schools.
  • Report rats or mice in parks.
  • Report rats or mice in public transportation.
  • Report a condition that could attract rodents such as trash or food left out.
  • Call 311 to report rats or mice in your home or building.
  • Unfortunately rats can carry diseases that kill humans or they might actually be able to help pick up after the messier of us!  Let’s send these guys packin’.

Until next week:19166021-Illustration-of-Cartoon-rat-get-out-Stock-Vector-mouse

Garbage Girl