1 November 2016 - Forgotten in the fridge or scraped off a plate. Thrown in the garbage. Left to rot. Sent to a landfill.
Millions of consumers repeat this sequence of actions without a second thought and send mountains of uneaten food to landfills. In North America, on average, one-third of all food is wasted. This is not only a shocking waste of resources, but also leads to the creation of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that warms the planet much faster than carbon dioxide.
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and UN Environment are launching a video contest, calling on the public to share how they're ensuring #NotWasting by submitting a 60-second video online.
"Food loss and waste is a global social, economic and environmental issue. Every year, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes, or one-third, of the food produced globally is currently lost or wasted," said Patricia Beneke, UN Environment Regional Director for North America. "We are working around the world and here in North America, to ensure the implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goal target 12.3, which calls for us to halve food waste in households and [in] retail globally by 2030, and to reduce food loss across the supply chain."
The Make #NotWasting food a way of life Contest is open to private citizens, schools, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, agricultural producers, and municipal and state/provincial government agencies, in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
"North America stands out among other developed regions of the world with some of the most food wasted per capita. By showcasing the work you are doing in your community to reduce food waste through the #NotWasting video contest, you're helping other communities in Canada, Mexico, and the United States understand how they too can reduce food waste. Together, we can build a more sustainable North America," said César Rafael Chávez, CEC Executive Director.
The contest invites people to demonstrate why their food waste reduction initiative, whether small- or large-scale, is both innovative and impactful. The initiative must be actively attempting to salvage food before it becomes waste -for example, by reducing food waste during the production and preparation process or by helping to recover unused food to feed hungry people or animals.
Videos must be posted online at http://www.notwasting.com/ before the midnight (EST) on Friday, 9 December 2016. Participants are also encouraged to share their video on social media, using the hashtag #NotWasting.
A panel of renowned North American experts will select the three winning submissions. The winner from each country will be invited to present his/her initiative at the first North American Workshop on Food Waste Reduction and Recovery, hosted by the CEC in early 2017.
The purpose of the workshop will be to identify gaps, challenges, opportunities and strategies to enhance food waste reduction and recovery in North America, and will be attended by leading government officials and experts from all three countries.
For more information and details about how to enter the contest, visit the website.