Taking Action on the Climate Crisis in Marin—Together
October 27, 2021
Dear ExtraFood Community,
On Youth Climate Action Day this past weekend, my thoughts turned to the extraordinary Greta Thunberg. At the age of 15, Greta started her School Strike for Climate in front of the Swedish Parliament, skipping school on Fridays to call for stronger action on climate change. 166 Fridays later, Greta not only continues her strike, but she has become a worldwide leader and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, a catalyst for millions of people to take action on the climate crisis.
In advance of the UN Climate Change Conference this Sunday, Greta authored a plea for leadership among high-income nations. In it, she quotes the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, who called the recent IPCC report on the climate crisis a “code red” for humanity and said, “we are at the verge of the abyss.” Yet Greta adds, “we need to remind ourselves that we can still turn this around. It’s entirely possible if we are prepared to change.”
With political gridlock, among other factors, slowing the aggressive action by our federal government that Greta is calling for, we cannot wait for a “top-down” approach in our country. We have to crowdsource this one. Fast.
Food waste is a main cause of the climate crisis: The annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from food waste, mainly methane, are twice the annual GHG emissions from all of the cars in the U.S. and Europe. Yet this creates a powerful, actionable opportunity for all of us: the international research project Project Drawdown rates Reduce Food Waste #1 on its Top 100 list of climate solutions.
With your support, ExtraFood is leading a movement to transform Marin’s food system: from wasting food to donating it for people in need. So far, 300 businesses and schools have joined our program, donating 5 million pounds of excess fresh food and preventing 400,000 pounds of methane – that’s the equivalent of the emissions from 11 million driving miles. Yet there is still so much fresh food thrown away, at a time when ExtraFood still receives far more requests for food than we can meet. Here are some additional ways you can help:
- If you work at a Marin business or school that ever has excess food but is not yet enrolled in our program, contact us! Our county-wide food recovery program operates 7/365, free of charge. Your organization will save money from having food waste hauled away, receive great tax benefits for your donations, and make another difference in our community.
- If you don’t know whether your favorite Marin businesses and schools are part of our program, consider asking them the next time you visit. If they’re not participating, please send them our way. Just imagine what it would feel like to know you were part of saving hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of pounds of food from being wasted, and instead delivered to vulnerable people throughout Marin!
Check out these tips for reducing food waste at home. And for food you must throw out, put it in your green cart outside – your waste management company will do the right thing with it.
In Marin, food waste is a solvable problem, and reducing food waste is the easiest thing we all can do to make the quickest impact on the climate crisis. Let’s answer Greta’s call to action and show the Bay Area, California, and our country how we are prepared to change.
Thank you for your support,
Founder and Executive Director, ExtraFood