University of Wisconsin – La Crosse students are passionate about protecting the environment, but they need help reducing food waste. So UWLC Sustainability Intern Josie Talbert began educating them about how to reduce the volume of food wasted.
Josie created a campaign focusing on food wasted at Whitney Center, the main resident dining hall. Setting up a table near the dish return, she asked students to put their excess food in her trashcan. After one hour, she collected 45.5 pounds of food waste. This became the baseline for food waste-reduction goals. With these results, she held two tabling events, encouraging students to pledge to stop food waste and then post it on social media. If they did, they were entered into a drawing for prizes. The table also featured statistics on food waste in America, and the difference between landfill waste and a compost bin.
Overall, students were more than willing to pledge. They also discussed personal struggles with food waste and learned about food preservation. This campaign will continue focusing on everyday tips to reduce food waste and preserve food. An event is planned for “Stop Food Waste Day” in April.