GET SMART:  TAKE  THE  CHALLENGE

    KEEP GOOD FOOD FROM GOING TO WASTE


WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE?
Did you know that in 2013 Americans threw 35 million tons of food into landfills and incinerators? Research
shows that nearly everyone wastes more than they think they do. The Food: Too Good to Waste Challenge
will help you figure out how much food is really going to waste in your home and what you can do to waste
less. By making small shifts in how you shop for, prepare, and store food, you can save time and money, and
keep the valuable resources used to produce and distribute food from going to waste!

WHAT DO YOU NEED?
You only need a few basic tools to get started, which include 1) a pen/pencil, 2) paper or printed worksheets,
3) small garbage bags, and 4) a small scale (optional).

GET SMART: SEE HOW MUCH FOOD (AND MONEY) YOU ARE REALLY THROWING AWAY

WEEKS 1 & 2: Measure how much food your family wastes in a week and record the volume and/or weight.

WEEKS 3 through 5: Try out one or more of the smart strategies listed below while continuing to measure how
much goes to waste each week. Keep notes on what works to reduce food waste and what doesn't.
     Smart Shopping: Buy What You Need - Make a shopping list with the Meals-ln-Mind Shopping List
      template based on how many meals you expect to eat at home before your next shopping trip. By
      buying no more than what you expect to use, you will be more likely to use it up and keep it fresh.
     Smart Storage: Keep Fruits and Vegetables Fresh - Store produce so it stays fresh longer with the help
      of the Fruits and Vegetable Storage Guide.
     Smart Prep: Prep Now, Eat Later - By preparing perishable foods as soon as possible, preferably post
      shopping, you'll make it easier to serve snacks and meals later in the week, saving time, effort and
      money.
     Smart Saving: Eat What You Buy - This involves being mindful of leftovers and old ingredients that
      need using up. The "Eat First" prompt can be used  to designate an area  in your refrigerator for
      leftovers and food that won't keep long.

Week 6: Measure and record your final weekly food waste amount. See how much food (and money) you
saved compared to weeks one and two.

GET READY
You can find all the printed materials you need to take the FTGTW Challenge available for download at
http://www2.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food

They include:
      This instruction sheet which includes the recording worksheet.
      Meals in Mind Shopping List Template
      Fruit and Vegetable Storage Guide
      Eat Me First Prompt

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  GET SMART:  TAKE THE  CHALLENGE

    KEEP GOOD FOOD FROM GOING TO WASTE  .

TIPS FOR TAKING THE CHALLENGE
   1.  Explain the challenge to members of your household/community and ask for their participation.
   2.  At the start of each week, line one paper bag with a green compostable bag. Over the course of the
      week, place all your PREVENTABLE food waste into the bag. Discard NON-EDIBLE food in the usual
      manner. (PREVENTABLE food waste  is both food you bought to eat but has since spoiled and food that
      was prepared but not eaten and was then thrown away. NON-EDIBLE food waste is everything you
      wouldn't normally eat, such as banana peels, egg shells, apple cores and chicken bones.)
   3.  At the end of each week, measure both the weight and the volume of food waste in the bag. Record
      both the volume and the weight for  the week on the attached worksheet. Once you get started, it
      should take no more than 15 minutes a week to measure and record your food waste.
   4.  If the bag fills before the end of seven days, weigh or record the volume of the full bag and record how
      many days you collected food in that bag. Then begin collection in a new bag. At the end of the week,
      total your weight and/or volume of food waste for the entire week.
   5.  After you record the weight and volume of food wasted for the week, dispose of the collection bag,
      including food, appropriately and as acceptable for your collection service, by composting, through
      organics collection or in the garbage.
   6.  Except for the new strategies you try starting in week 3, keep to your usual routine as much as possible
      during the challenge. For example, unless you regularly clean out your freezer, do not clean it
      throughout the challenge.
   7.  At the end of week 6, compare your totals for weeks 1 and 2 to weeks 3 through 6 and see how much
      food you saved from going to waste! Many families have reduced their food waste by 25% or more.
ADDITIONAL WASTE COLLECTION TIPS:
      If you are concerned about leakage, then you might use a plastic bag as a second liner.
     If concerned about odor, you can clip the top of the bag shut; or you can start using a new bag mid-
      week, as long as you track the total volume of waste for the whole week.
      Do not collect liquid waste such as soup or food-soiled paper products.
AFTER THE CHALLENGE
Once you've completed the challenge, share your successes and lessons learned with other individuals or
organizations who may be interested in reducing wasted food.

For more information on sustainable management of food, please visit
http://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food
k                                                                      United States
                                                                      Environmental Protection
                                                                      Agency
                                                           EPA-530-F-014-B
&EPAI
EPA-530-F-014-
February 2016

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  GET  SMART:  TAKE  THE CHALLENGE
    KEEP GOOD  FOOD  FROM GOING TO WASTE
RECORDING WORKSHEET
WEEK1
Start Date:
     Bag Volume  	
     # of days collected
Day of Week:
	Weight
WEEK 2
Start Date:
     Bag Volume  	
     # of days collected
Day of Week:
	Weight
Totals-Weeks land 2
	Bag Volume
   . Weight
                       NOTES (WHAT GOES TO WASTE AND WHY)
                       NOTES (WHAT GOES TO WASTE AND WHY)
Averages - Weeks 1 and 2
Total Volume H- 2 =	Total Weight H- 2 :
WEEKS
Start Date:
     Bag Volume  	
     # of days collected
Day of Week:
	Weight
WEEK 4
Start Date:
     Bag Volume  	
     # of days collected
Day of Week:
	Weight
WEEKS
Start Date:
     Bag Volume  	
     # of days collected
Day of Week:
	Weight
WEEKS
Start Date:
     Bag Volume  	
     # of days collected
Day of Week:
	Weight
Totals - Weeks 3 through 6
	Bag Volume  	Weight
                       NOTES (WHAT WORKS, WHAT DOESN'T)
                       NOTES (WHAT WORKS, WHAT DOESN'T)
                       NOTES (WHAT WORKS, WHAT DOESN'T)
                       NOTES (WHAT WORKS, WHAT DOESN'T)
             Averages - Weeks 3 through 6
             Total Volume 4- 4 =	Total Weight 4- 4 =

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