(WSYX) Columbus, OH — As Thanksgiving approaches, the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) is encouraging families to reduce food waste by offering tools for planning ahead and repurposing leftovers.
“An inordinate amount of food is wasted around the Thanksgiving holiday -- some 200 million pounds of turkey, 40 million pounds of mashed potatoes and 30 million pounds of stuffing will end up in trash cans across the nation,” said Joe Lombardi, SWACO’s Executive Director. “With a little preparation and planning, this waste can be drastically reduced.”
In Central Ohio, food waste accounts for the single largest source of landfill material (by weight) and is equivalent to residents and businesses throwing away nearly a million pounds of food daily. SWACO’s Save More Than Food website offers tips for Central Ohioans this holiday season to help them prevent food waste, saving money and protecting the environment:
- Plan your meal with the Guestimator, a dinner party calculator that estimates how much food you need to keep your guests full and happy.
- Store food properly with the Storage Guide. Learn how to properly store food so it remains fresh for as long as possible.
- Reimagine holiday leftovers with Organic Valley Recipes featuring tips and creative recipes for making holiday leftovers into new dishes.
- Donate leftovers to food rescue organizations like Food Rescue US who brings together grocers, restaurants and other food donors with soup kitchens and shelters to create access to healthy, edible food for food insecure residents.
Overall, the Save More Than Food campaign is working towards a goal to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. In one of its pilot program communities where food waste drop-off sites and educational outreach has been shared and waste generation monitored, there has been a 20% reduction in household food waste.
Residents and businesses can visit savemorethanfood.org for information to help reduce food waste on Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season.