Looking Back on Better Earth Climate Week
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’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.
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They are steadfast ocean advocates that empower all of us to protect our ocean's health and, in turn, our own. We'll be talking about the impacts of single-use plastic packaging on our environment, and how @oceanic.global is supporting foodservice establishments around the world operate safely and sustainably through the pandemic.
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.
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Consider @freshharvest Metro Atlanta's online farmers market, delivered to your doorstep. Joe will elaborate on how Fresh Harvest and their partner-farmers rose to the challenge to safely and sustainably deliver local food across Atlanta through COVID-19, as well as the cascading environmental benefits gained from investing in our local agricultural economy. Check out the rest of our Climate Week Conversations in our IGTV tab! 🌱
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Thanks to their easy and impactful composting programs, @compostnow empowers community members and local businesses to divert their compostables from the landfill, and, instead, use those nutrients to build healthy soil by composting. We’ll dive into the easy, impactful ways the foodservice industry can support a critical climate solution: replenishing our soils. Watch more Climate Week Conversations in our IGTV tab!
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.
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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