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How Federal Programs and Partnerships can Help Reduce Wasted Food on Campuses
July 19 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDTFree
Food is the single largest waste stream sent to landfills and incinerators each year in the United States –over 70 billion pounds, which accounts for 21 percent of Americans’ everyday trash. Individuals, including students on college campuses, can contribute to solutions to reduce food loss and waste. Food waste has major environmental and economic implications. Organic material in landfills decomposes and generates methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas. Landfills are one of the largest sources of methane emissions produced from human activity. Additionally, the value of food loss and waste is estimated at $161.6 billion dollars in the United States, meaning the average consumer spends $370 per year on food they never eat. This webinar will discuss 1) the problem of wasted food, 2) the national goal to reduce food loss and waste, and 3) highlight demonstrated practices academic institutions can take to increase their sustainability by decreasing food loss and waste. Central Michigan University will share their success story of diverting 11.5% of their campus waste stream by removing wasted food. They have also taken their Zero Waste program full circle, using the compost created from their diverted food scraps on campus. Sharing best practices will help make sustainability policies the expected standard and create opportunities for collaboration with groups on-campus and off to work toward more sustainable management of food. Reducing wasted food is a triple win for colleges and universities; it’s good for the environment, for your campus community, and for your bottom line.
Lana Suarez, Lead, Sustainable Management of Food, US EPA
Lana is the associate chief of the Materials Management Branch and lead for Sustainable Management of Food efforts, under the Sustainable Materials Management Program at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Lana joined the agency in 2004 and previous to her present position, she supported federal agencies meet sustainability goals, coordinated federal partnerships for urban waters, assisted a program office director and reviewed pesticide labels.
She served as an environmental education volunteer from 2000 – 2003 with the Peace Corps in Nicaragua. She attended the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources & Environment and has a BS in Environmental Policy and Behavior.
Jay Kahn, Director, Facilities Operations, Central Michigan University
Jay has 25 years of facilities experience in Higher Education and the US Navy. Responsible for operations, capital programs, construction, maintenance, custodial, security, transportation, and landscape management. Currently, Director Facilities Operations for Central Michigan University. CMU is a Carnegie Melon research institution enrolling 28,000 students with 6.2M sqft, 130 buildings on 580 acres.