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Worldview Pro Chat: Food Waste

Barb Willard (DePaul) joins Beth and Kate for a live tete-a-tete on food waste. (WBEZ)

The way Worldwatch Institute sees it, Americans waste three times more food between Thanksgiving and New Years than any other time of year. The way we see it? Any waste is too much when it comes to lip-smacking holiday treats.

So what’s a food-loving planet-lover to do about food waste? And why does it even matter? We asked Barbara Willard, PhD, environmental science communications expert and associate professor at DePaul University, to dish on what’s up with global food waste—and what each of us can do to ensure every last bite is savored.

Listen in now, savor your meal later —>

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This Easy Action Really Does Score Epic Impact

Behold, Big-time Inspiration

This rousing 30-second spot shows us how one simple change really can have mind-blowing impact. So go ahead, ditch the flimsy paper cup for an actual mug, and you’ll save absurd amounts of Earth’s valuable resources. (For specific absurdities, check out the video.)

Huge thanks to our friends at Comcast Spotlight Chicago Creative for producing this appropriately epic PSA, which is airing now on 64 stations across Chicagoland. And now…

Snag your earth-saving mug HERE!

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Myth: Hold Your Nose — Composting Stinks!

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“Hold Your Nose!”—Said No Real-Life Composter We Talked To, Ever

Every nose has its own unique point of view, er, smell—but all are likely to turn themselves up at the smell of rotting trash. Why then would we assault our nasal passages by composting, aka, piling up a bunch of food and plant waste with the express goal of, gasp, purposefully letting it rot?

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On the Air: Disposals vs. Trash

Is it better for Mama Earth to dispose of food waste by putting it down the sink disposal or into the trash? In the latest EcoMyths segment on WBEZ, Kate joins Jerome McDonnell to tackle the age-old question of whether it’s greener to send food waste down the sink and into our water system, or just to throw it in the landfill-bound trash can. Providing them with the answers are Eric Masanet, PhD, life cycle analysis expert at Northwestern University, and Debra Shore, commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago.

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Myth: Putting Food Waste Down the Disposal Is Greener Than in the Trash

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Trash Talk: Are Sink Disposals Good for the Environment?

OMG hold your nose! There’s a mystery substance at the back of the fridge, and it’s scaring all the other food with its excessive stink. Now what? Pitching the moldy glob straight into the sink disposal means it can basically disappear from your life instantly, i.e., not exponentially increase the gross factor in your trashcan days before garbage pickup. But that’s not the only thing in-sink disposals have going for ’em. On top of the sheer convenience of it all, the rumors are true—garbage disposals are generally a greener option than trashcans.

    All these options are generally greener than tossing food waste into a trashcan.These appliances, which have been heralded as the “next great tool for urban sustainability,” not only reduce the amount of diesel fuel and emissions associated with driving garbage trucks around town—but also carry this uneaten waste along to the wastewater treatment plant, where it can actually be used to produce resources like fertilizer and clean energy.