It’s not easy being green, or so says Kermit the Frog. But is Kermit right?
Is it possible to be kind to our planet without feeling constantly overwhelmed? We think so! The good people at the University of California have partnered with Vox Media to create a series of nine short videos describing several basic sustainability problems, introducing people who are coming up with innovative solutions, and offering simple, guilt-free ways that we can make small changes to help.
Hosted by entertaining and charismatic global conservationist Dr. M. Sanjayan, these short videos cover a range of topics. Episode four, a nine and a half minute video titled “Food Waste Is the World’s Dumbest Problem,” looks at how much food we waste, why we waste it, and what’s being done to change that. “When we picture the stuff that’s hurting our planet, what do we think of?” asks Sanjayan. ”We think of smoke stacks, cars, oil spills. We don’t really think about all the food we throw away.”
But in the U.S. roughly 40% of the food we produce never gets eaten. That adds up to about 365 million pounds per day. And with one in eight Americans lacking reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food, this is a big deal. Dana Gunders, Senior Scientist at the National Resources Defense Council notes, “Of all of the challenging problems out there, reducing the amount of food we are wasting is one of the easiest.”
One person addressing the challenge is Komal Ahmad. Ahmad created Copia, an innovative food app to allow caterers or restaurants with excess food to get it to shelters and the people who need it. “There is so much high-quality surplus [food] that’s wasted that just needs to find the people that need it the most.”
Reducing wasted food is one of the easiest ways to go green. It takes a lot of resources — water, labor, oil, and land – to grow food, package it, keep it cold, and transport it. When you reduce food waste, you save money, too. Plus, no one likes wasting food.
So Kermit, we disagree. In this case, it is easy to be green!