Food loss and waste are associated with financial costs and also have negative environmental consequences as they contribute to Canada’s greenhouse emissions. Roughly a third of the world’s food is never eaten, which means land and resources used and greenhouse gases emitted in producing it were unnecessary.

The Food Waste Challenge was a collaboration between the Department of Environment, Water and Climate Change, the Island Waste Management Corporation, and the City of Charlottetown to promote greater awareness on the issue of food waste which launched during Waste Reduction Week 2020.

You can explore the site to learn steps you can take to reduce food waste and protect the environment.

Step 1: Understanding Food Waste

  • Food Waste Friday ContestCanadian households produce an estimated 85 kgs of food waste per year.
  • Food waste is costly, damages the environment and contributes to greenhouse emissions.
  • The global pandemic is contributing to an increase in household food waste.
  • Whether you are eating at home or at work, there are some simple changes you can make to reduce food waste.

Actions you can take today!

Resources:

Step 2: Track Your Food Waste

  • Food Waste Friday ContestUnderstanding your sources of food waste is an important step to reducing it.
  • Take charge of your own food waste by understanding more about your sources of food waste through a diary.
  • The World Resources Institute (WRI) identified the three main sources of food waste in their office to be leftovers from catered events, uneaten lunches, and forgotten food in refrigerators.
  • 1/3 of food waste in Canada could be recovered and redistributed to feed individuals in need.

Actions you can take today!

  • Keep a weekly diary to track your own food waste to help you better understand where you can improve.
  • Take pictures of your leftovers and food waste to track your progress.
  • Use the diary and the pictures to identify the main sources of your food waste and use the information to plan in the future.

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Step 3: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

  • Food Waste Friday ContestMeal planning and reducing waste when dining out is important.
  • Plan weekly meals in advance and make a shopping list to reduce the chance of buying extra food you don’t need.
  • Use food that’s already in your fridge to create recipes instead of always buying new.
  • Save time and money by enjoying leftovers from previous meals. Get creative with what’s left!

Actions you can take today!

  • Start planning your lunches for the week, noting the days you may be dining out and make a plan for using the leftovers.
  • Swap recipes that use leftovers with your colleagues
  • Set up a community shelf to share leftover fruits, baked goods, crackers, extra produce from the garden with your colleagues instead of wasting them.

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Step 4: Get Smart on Food Safety and Storage

  • Food Waste Friday ContestLearning how to store your food properly is an important step in reducing your food waste.
  • Keep food fresh longer by learning proper storage techniques.
  • 30% of the food wasted in Canada are vegetables and 15% are fruits (National Zero Waste Council, 2017)

Actions you can take today!

  • Delegate one person to clear out the fridge at your workplace every Friday. Teleworkers can assign a specific time to organize their home fridge.
  • Share tips with your colleagues on food storage and food safety.

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Step 5: Take the Pledge

  • Food Waste Friday ContestMake every day a food waste reduction day!

Actions you can take today!

  • We invite you to keep learning and working to implement the changes you’ve made into your day to day life.