Reducing household food waste

The challenge continues!

Reducing food waste is one of the top Drawdown solutions to fight climate change and shrink our collective environmental footprint. 

Our six-week challenge offered Toronto residents simple activities and strategies around avoidable food waste. We know that food waste is a big contributor to global warming, but there are so many other benefits to being more mindful of how we use food. Conscientious planning, shopping and consumption benefits our physical health and saves money as well. On a broader scale, it can improve access to food for others and promote more sustainable practices in the food supply chain.

By thinking about where our food comes from, and how our choices affect the resources available to others — now and in the future — we become more active stewards of a healthy and equitable planet. 

We are grateful for the participants and partnerships that helped build community around this important issue. We look forward to continuing conversations on the many intersecting solutions to systemic issues within the food sector. 

YouTube video

Community Voices: Next Steps

Community leaders share their perspectives on where we go from here to tackle food waste and the systemic challenges around food. This is an important conversation at a time when 1 in 8 Canadians are food insecure in the midst of staggering abundance. This interview was conducted by Erin Andrews, Founder & Executive Director of Impact Zero (@impactzero.ca).

More details…Angelina La is lead of Waste Watchers, a youth-led group working to take action on food waste in the GTHA. Leslie Solomonian is the co-founder of Naturopathic Doctors for Environmental and Social Trust (NEST), to support the naturopathic profession to engage in advocacy for the social and ecological determinants of planetary health. Dr. Antonia Sappong & Lindura Sappong are the co-founders of Plastic Free Toronto, where they work together to educate and inspire their community to deal with issues of environmental pollution, climate change, poverty, and institutionalized racism. Tony Colley is the owner of B12Give, a local company that donates excess food waste from businesses and redistributes it to organizations helping to feed food-insecure communities.

Get Involved!

If you want to join the continuing conversation around food waste and explore opportunities to improve our local food system, send us an email.

Resources

We have collected all the resources provided to participants during the challenge in one place.

Challenge Ambassadors

We invited community leader and advocates to talk about the weekly challenges from their perspective. We deeply appreciate their insights. In addition, we direct a special thanks to our partner Erin Andrews, Founder & Executive Director of Impact Zero (@impactzero.ca), who produced the videos.

YouTube video

Week 1

Rose Barcarse

Second Harvest

Learn more

YouTube video

Week 2 – Planning

Karina Dadybayeva

Wasteless.food
Instagram | wastelessapp.co

Learn more

YouTube video

Week 3

Monique Chan, Dayna Stein and Sophi Robertson

Bruized | Bare Market | Spent Good Company

Learn more

YouTube video

Week 4

Michelle Delaney

Thorncliffe Park Urban Farmers
Facebook | Instagram.

Learn more

YouTube video

Week 5

Sunday Harrison

Green Thumbs
GreenThumbsTO.org

Learn more

YouTube video

Week 6

Ronnie Seagren

Ecologos / Waterdocs
waterdocs.ca

Learn more

A third of the food raised or prepared does not make it from farm or factory to fork. Producing uneaten food squanders a whole host of resources—seeds, water, energy, land, fertilizer, hours of labor, financial capital—and generates greenhouse gases at every stage—including methane when organic matter lands in the global rubbish bin. The food we waste is responsible for roughly 8 percent of global emissions.

Project Drawdown (drawdown.org/solutions/reduced-food-waste)

Weekly Challenges

Click on a challenge to learn more about each one.

Week 1

Weighing In

Learn about avoidable food waste and complete a household food waste audit

Week 2

Planning

The benefits of pre-planning meals and making shopping lists

Week 3

Lessons in Leftovers

Embrace portion control, get creative with leftovers and try a new recipe!

Week 4

Best Before

How to prolong food freshness and useful good food safety practices

Week 5

Shopping Ugly & Composting 101

Shopping for less perfect produce

Week 6

Reduce & Rethink

Measure the impact of your choices with a second audit and learn how to keep new practices.

  • Lin and Toni Sappong (Plasticfree Toronto)
  • Suki Hon (NEST)
  • Meera Jain (The Green Mum)
  • Maleeha Mehreen (Waste Watchers)
  • Jerry Wang (Waste Watchers)
  • Christina Li (Waste Watchers)
  • Bridget Carter-Whitney (Waste Watchers)
  • Angelina La (Waste Watchers)
  • Sofiya Chorniy
  • Angelina La (Waste Watchers)

Food Waste Challenge Champions

Our champions are guides for the challenge.

Our champions

Lin and Toni Sappong — Plasticfree Toronto
Suki Hon — sukihon.com
Meera Jain — thegreenmum.net
Sofyia Chorniy — @sofiyalovesnature
Angelina La , Bridget Carter-Whitney, Christina Li, Maleeha Mehreen, Jerry Wang — @Food Unity

YouTube video

Sharing Anishnawbe teachings around food

Excerpt from full video.

Nothing is ever in abundance, there is only a certain amount we can take, and a certain amount we can give – we always have to respect it.

John LaForme

We are grateful to Melissa Stevensons and John LaForme, from the Anishnawbe Health Foundation, for sharing their teachings with us. The foundation supports Anishnawbe Health Toronto, which provides health services grounded in indigenous culture and knowledge to Toronto’s indigenous population. In thanks for their generosity, you are welcomed to make a donation in Melissa or John’s name to support the foundation.

supportanishnawbe.ca/indigenous-peoples-landscape

Partners

We are thankful to be in collaboration with the following partners for this initiative: Naturopathic Doctors for Environmental & Social Trust (NEST), Impact Zero, Waste Watchers, Wasteless.food, EcoLogos/WaterDocs, Canadian Climate Challenge, Plasticfree Toronto and EcoCaledon.

Just Eat It Toronto has been modelled after a similar campaign designed and run by Dufferin County, the “Plan to Save: Food Waste Reduction” initiative. We thank them for sharing their resources and findings with Drawdown Toronto.

  • Impact Zero
  • Waste Watchers
  • Canadian Climate Challenge
  • Plasticfree Toronto
  • wasteless.food
  • Just Eat It, Caledon!
  • EcoCaledon
  • NEST
  • WaterDocs (Ecologos)
  • Green Thumbs

When we think of the causes of global warming, fossil fuel use most often comes to mind. Less conspicuous are the consequences of our breakfast, lunch and dinner.

From the Drawdown book (2017)