My name is Claire Cummings and my colleagues refer to me as a trash-talking, waste-fighting garbage guerrilla. But my more formal title is Waste Specialist at the Bon Appétit Management Company, based in Palo Alto, California. As a major food service provider, we operate more than 500 cafes at corporations, universities, and museums around the country. One of my most pressing tasks is reducing post-consumer waste in our cafes.
Americans in general have a problem with food waste. Yes, waste happens on farms, at grocery stores, and restaurants, but the food waste problem cannot be solved without consumer participation. To get and each and every one of us involved, I’m encouraging everyone to take the Scrap Bucket Challenge.
Let’s Prevent Food Scraps in the First Place
Here’s an idea… Instead of focusing on the excess food that remains on your plate, let’s think about all of the food scraps collecting in our garbage bins (or compost bins, for those of you who are one step ahead of the rest) that could have been prevented.
• 40% of the food we produce in America doesn’t get eaten
• American consumers spend $371 per person per year on food that gets wasted
• If we wasted just 15 percent less food, it would be enough to feed 25 million Americans
• Consumers generate almost half of all food waste produced in the United States
Do You Have What it Takes to Take the Scrap Bucket Challenge?
So I’m issuing all of you a challenge — the Scrap Bucket Challenge. Similar to the “Ice Bucket Challenge” the idea is to raise awareness of food waste by recording yourself dumping food scraps on your head.
The idea for the Scrap Bucket Challenge was born at the Zero Food Waste Forum, which was the kick-off for a national movement to end food waste in the United States.
Since the challenge was first issued, some high profile folks in the waste world have taken the challenge, including Dana Gunders at NRDC, Jonathan Bloom (author of American Wasteland) and Jordan Figueiredo of EndFoodWaste.org and Feeding the 5000 in Oakland, CA.
Here’s How the Scrap Bucket Challenge Works…
1. Dump a bucket of food scraps on your head – OR donate $5 to a food waste charity
2. Tell the world why we need to waste less food
3. Challenge 3 friends who you want to take action against food waste to take the Scrap Bucket Challenge – OR ask businesses to donate
Just grab a week of collected food scraps, film yourself dumping the bucket on yourself (you can keep the video short and make it extra goopy for dramatic effect), upload your video and attach the hashtag #ScrapBucketChallenge. Search this hashtag on twitter, YouTube, or Facebook to find more.So what are you waiting for? It’s easy to take the Scrap Bucket Challenge!
Food waste is one of the most hidden but solvable environmental issues of our time.
What a better way to pull back the curtain on food waste than by collecting our food scraps, taking a good hard look at what we are wasting, and then dumping it on ourselves? Well, perhaps we could think of a few alternatives but, come on, this is a fun one!
The Scrap Bucket Challenge could dramatically shift our collective view of food waste. Our Bon Appetit team has taken the Scrap Bucket Challenge. Will you?
Jacquie Ottman, founder of WeHateToWaste.com has taken the Scrap Bucket Challenge — and you can, too!
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