JANUARY 19, 2017 BY 

Written by YVSC Staff

This year Yampa Valley Sustainability Council is working to reduce the amount of food local families throw away to help save money and conserve natural resources. The organization will kick off this food waste reduction campaign at its monthly Talking Green education event “Food too Good to Waste” at 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24 at Creekside Café on 11th Street in downtown Steamboat Springs.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an average family throws away 40 percent of their food, wasting approximately $1,500 every year. Reducing food waste not only lowers a family’s grocery bill but is an important climate protection strategy. Wasted food squanders the water and energy that went into production and transportation. Rotting food in the landfill releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas 72 times more potent than carbon dioxide measured across a 20-year period.

Virginia Till, food management and recycling specialist at the EPA office in Denver, is working with YVSC to launch the local food waste reduction campaign. At Talking Green, Till will share strategies on shopping, storing and preparing food that will help attendees to toss less, eat well, simplify their lives and save money. Till challenges people to rethink the way they look at resources today for their children and grandchildren tomorrow. Her motto is “Feed people, not landfills.”

Talking Green attendees also can learn about YVSC’s food waste challenge where local families are invited to engage in how to reduce food waste across six weeks from Feb. 27 to April 10. YVSC will provide each household a bucket for measuring preventable food waste each week, as well as education, signage, menu planning tips, recipes and support along the way.

Till also will speak at YVSC’s free Sustainable Business Education Breakfast at 8-9 a.m., Wednesday, Jan.25 at the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtor’s Office, 625 S. Lincoln Ave. #202 next to Freshies Restaurant. Till will present on the EPA’s SaferChoiceWaterSenseEnergyStar and Food Waste Reduction strategies. Businesses can learn about resources and tools to improve their bottom line, save energy and water, and reduce waste.

As part of its campaign to reduce household food waste, YVSC is also promoting the following educational events:

  • On Feb. 7 at 5:30-6:30 p.m., Alicia McLeod of Natural Grocers will give tips on meal planning, weekly grocery shopping and recipes made from leftovers and food scraps.
  • For YVSC’s February Talking Green on Feb. 28, Sybil Sharvelle, a civil and environmental engineer from Colorado State University, will speak about anaerobic digestion, a process that turns food waste into energy.

To sign up for the Food Waste Challenge or to RSVP for the business breakfast, email cameron@yvsc.org or go to www.yvsc.org.