A Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Wasted Food Assessment with the Reducing Wasted Food and Packaging Toolkit

This webinar series, part of U.S. EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy, provides comprehensive guidance on conducting a tracking assessment using EPA’s Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging Toolkit. The toolkit includes a guide and a tracking spreadsheet to assist commercial and institutional food services in tracking and reducing their food and packaging waste by implementing reduction strategies. Reducing food and packaging waste saves money, reduces the environmental impacts of waste, and improves organizational image.

For more resources on reducing food waste, visit EPA’s Sustainable Management of Food site. The Tools for Preventing and Diverting Wasted Food page is particularly useful.

Food Loss Prevention Options for Grade Schools, Manufacturers, Restaurants, Universities and Grocery Stores

Businesses and organizations can learn to effectively prevent wasted food by taking source reduction steps such as inventorying supplies, changing processes and buying less. EPA has developed tip sheets for grade schools, food manufacturers, restaurants, universities and grocery stores that provide suggestions for ways these sectors can prevent food loss and waste.

EPA Launches 6th Annual Campus RainWorks Challenge

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching its sixth annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a design competition that is open to colleges and universities across the country. EPA seeks to engage with students to foster a dialogue about responsible stormwater management, and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices.
Registration for the 2017 Challenge is open from September 1 through September 30. Student teams must register in order to submit their entries by December 15. Winners will be announced in the Spring of 2018. Each first-place team will earn a student prize of $2,000 to be divided evenly among student team members and a faculty prize of $3,000 to support green infrastructure research or training. Second-place teams will win $1,000 for student teams and a $2,000 faculty prize.
Water pollution associated with stormwater runoff requires infrastructure solutions that are innovative, resilient, and affordable. Today’s scholars are tomorrow’s design professionals. The Campus RainWorks Challenge will harness their creativity and knowledge to jointly advance the agency’s mission to protect public health and water quality.

‘Zero-Waste’ Efforts May Lead Sports Stadiums Astray, Study Suggests

Read the full story from Environmental Leader. Read the full study here.

Sporting venues interested in reducing GHG emissions, energy use, and trips to the landfill may actually be shortchanging themselves by focusing too closely on the concept of reaching “zero waste,” according to researchers at the University of Missouri (Mizzou). Rather, two specific aspects of waste reduction seem to far outweigh the rest in terms of reducing emissions or energy use: eliminating edible food waste, and recycling.

The Looming Decline of the Public Research University

Read the full story in Washington Monthly.

Cuts in research funding have left midwestern state schools—and the economies they support—struggling to survive.

Universities and museums join in effort to ‘scan all vertebrates’

Read the full story at TechCrunch.

It seems that even scientific endeavors fall victim to feature creep — or in the case of an effort to scan all fishes that has expanded to include all vertebrates, creature creep. More than a dozen learning institutions are pooling their resources to create detailed 3D scans, inside and out, of more than 20,000 animals.

The undertaking could be said to have started more than 20 years ago, when Adam Summers, a dedicated biologist at the University of Washington, began his quest to scan every fish in the sea. What may have been considered eccentric then can only be called essential now: new ways of digitizing and sharing scientific data are sprouting up everywhere, and Summers’ prescient work has spurred other experts to attempt the same.

David Blackburn at the Florida Museum of Natural History decided he’d attempt to scan all frogs (his own specialty) to complement Summers’ collection. But after it became clear others wanted to contribute in kind, they decided to seek real funding and just scan everything. Every vertebrate, anyway — if you wanted to scan every arthopod, jelly, and so on, the task grows by an order of magnitude (or two).

Cal Poly Graduate Students Can Now Study Food Waste

Read the full story in Food & Wine.

The first step towards fighting food waste is educating people on the problem. Now, six Cal Poly students will have the chance to take their education on food waste to new heights. The San Luis Obispo-based state university has announced a new graduate fellowship program specifically focused on the global reduction of food waste.