Environmental Month Brings Awareness to Issue of Food Waste on Campus

By Allie Marcu and Shrida Pandey, Staff Writers

// Every year in the United States, 40 percent of the food is left untouched. The world wastes 1.3 billion tons of food every year, which accumulates to 1 trillion dollars. However, 925 million people in the world are still starving.
For the month of November, the Acalanes Leadership Environmental Board focused on educating students about food waste through a series of interactive events.
In their preparation, the board mainly focused on activities related to food waste. The whole concept of environmental month was in response to the amount of food wasted on the Acalanes campus.
“Our main goal was also to get people informed and to think about their food waste contribution,” Environmental Board member Lexi Sofield said.
The month kicked off on Friday, Nov. 8, with the showing of the movie Unbroken Ground in the leadership classroom. Unbroken Ground explains the critical role food will play in the next chapter of efforts to solve the environmental crisis. Although the film was educational, it had low attendance. Despite the setback, the movie received positive reviews from both students and staff.
“I appreciate [the playing of] Unbroken Ground because it shows ways we can make changes to our food system in a way that is more sustainable and in a way that is better for the environment,” Environmental Science teacher Jada Paniagua said.
During lunch on Nov. 15, lollipops were handed out in the front quad, alongside information about how to help combat food waste. The lollipops not only caught students’ attention but provoked individual action.
“It made me want to recycle more and actually look at the amount of food that I am wasting,” sophomore Zoe Ferrer said.
On Nov. 22, to wrap up the month-long event, the Environmental Board passed out hot chocolate and apple cider before school. Students who brought reusable cups received free drinks, while those without one had to pay a dollar for drinks. The money made was donated to benefit the Contra Costa Food Bank.
Compared to the previous events of the month, this event had a very high turnout.
“For our movie showing we had a relatively small turnout, but for our hot chocolate day, we had tons of kids bring a reusable cup from home,” Environmental Board member Isabel Rurka said.
Overall, the students appreciate the hard work that the Environmental Board has put into the month and are inspired to reevaluate their own recycling tactics.
“It was a really good idea because it helped students get more informed about food waste. I enjoyed the events and thought the board did a great job putting it together,” sophomore Michelle Goll said.
The board hopes to continue bringing awareness towards issues of food waste on campus.
“We saw how much food is wasted daily by Acalanes students, so we felt that it was important to educate our peers about the impacts of food waste on the environment,” Rurka said.

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