Looking Back on Better Earth Climate Week

10/15/2020
By Savannah Seydel
Community . Food Feed . Sustainability

Did you know that the world’s food system is estimated to be responsible for one-quarter of the greenhouse gases humans generate each year?

But every problem presents an even greater opportunity. We believe food, and the value chain surrounding it, is our silver bullet to a Better Earth. So this Climate Week, we hosted tough conversations with partners across the industry to better understand the problems at hand and how we can all be a part of the solution – from field to fork to field.

We want to offer special thanks to the Nest Summit, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and our partners who participated in our personal Instagram Live Series: Cassia Patel of Oceanic Global, Blair Michal of CompostNow and Joe Spiccia of Fresh Harvest.

We’d like to share some of our key takeaways as we pull back and reflect on that exciting week. 

 

  • Packaging needs are growing due to COVID-19.

    During my panel at the Nest Summit, I discussed how the need for safe, single-use packaging needs are skyrocketing and diversifying. Done improperly, this trend could lead to a dramatic uptick in landfill waste and plastic pollution.  

  • There is a direct connection between plastic pollution and climate change.

    Plastic is cheap, readily available and addresses several critical needs across sectors. But as it relates to single-use foodservice packaging, plastics still derive from fossil fuels, and according to Yale Climate Connections, emit greenhouse gases at every stage of their lifecycle. In fact, the Center for International Environmental Law, a nonprofit environmental law organization, released a bombshell report in May 2019 called “Plastic & Climate: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet. For more information on this issue and its impact on marine life, I encourage you to check out my conversation with Cassia Patel of Oceanic Global on Instagram.  

  • We need holistic solutions.

    To truly have an outsized impact on climate change, the foodservice industry must embrace holistic solutions that support like-minded partners across the value chain.

    This looks like:

    • prioritizing fresh, local food; 
    • choosing plant-based, compostable foodservice packaging whenever necessary and eliminating single-use packaging whenever possible; 
    • and composting all organic matter.

In so doing, we invest in our health, environment and future generations. I got to learn about the endless benefits surrounding these holistic solutions while chatting with Joe Spiccia of Fresh Harvest, who works with farmers across the Southeast, and Blair Michal, of the commercial composting company CompostNow. You can check out these interviews here and here, respectively.

Get inspired! 

Another thing I learned through the week? There are so many ways to get involved! While at home, try your hand at a COVID “victory” garden, explore backyard composting or look out for local produce at your grocery store. Another great place to start is on screen. Two documentaries mentioned during our Climate Week Conversations were The Biggest Little Farm and Kiss the Ground – both powerful exposés on the limitless benefits to regenerative farming and the importance of investing in our soil.

Every week is Climate Week at Better Earth.

We look forward to more conversations like these that shake our center, challenge our assumptions and push us to continue to grow as a company and team alongside so many incredible partners on the same journey.   

Savannah Seydel

Savannah Seydel

Vice President of Sustainability and Impact

I am excited to spend my time thinking about how Better Earth can reduce our environmental impact and serve as a catalyst for change within our community and industry.

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