Reduce food waste.

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According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), each day in the United States, approximately one pound of food per person is wasted. That is 103 million tons (81.4 billion pounds) of food waste or the equivalent of over 450,000 Statue of Liberties!

Although this amount is unacceptable, it is important to understand that food waste is happening from production to consumption. Food wastage occurs at every step of the supply chain, with different types of foods being more or less likely to be lost at each stage.

According to data collected by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, 20% of fruit and vegetables are lost during production, 12% are lost at the distribution and retail level, and a further 28% are lost at the consumer level. Additionally, the world generates 2.01 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste annually, with at least 33% of that not managed in an environmentally safe manner.

We need to do better.

Sustainable Development Goal 12 focuses on ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns for all the countries in the world. At the core of its targets, the UN proposes by 2030 to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.

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Thinking Cap On

As individuals and responsible citizens, it is our responsibility to keep an eye on the amount of waste we produce. Remember, just because it is in the garbage, it doesn't mean it has disappeared. Work with your parents to compost your food waste and sorting recycling whenever possible; try to avoid using single-use plastic (drinks in plastic bottles). When you can't avoid using them, try to reuse or recycle!

Find out how much you waste in one day by collecting food wrappers and garbage and see if you can do better the next day. Every little effort counts!