When you hear the term “food waste,” you may think of scraps left on a plate, unwanted by picky children (or adults!) that ultimately end up in the trash.

True, that’s part of it, but food waste is a much, much bigger problem. In fact, it accounts for nearly a quarter (22%) of all landfill volume, according to ReFED.

The food filling up a good portion of landfills goes beyond picky eaters at home, and into schools, restaurants and businesses that waste food on the daily.

With a 15.3% food insecurity rate in Marion County, there is most definitely a need. The challenge sometimes is accessibility and simple knowledge of where to turn for help.

So what can be done about food waste in Indiana? Here we offer three options:

Have a food plan

Building meals from what you have on hand. Cutting down on portion sizes. Saving uneaten food to have another day. Bringing your own container to a restaurant to take home what you can’t finish … these are all ways you can reduce food waste right here where you live.

Donate excess food

Indiana Recycling Coalition, in 2015, began the Indiana Food Scrap Initiative which seeks to identify gaps and opportunities for food waste recovery in central Indiana. A partial list of where to donate food includes:

Learn about composting

Not only can you “backyard compost” your own table scraps and turn them into nutrient-rich soil for your home garden, but you can also … turn to services such as Green with Indy, to pick up and haul your food waste away, where it is turned into soil.

Earth Mama, a certified woman-owned business, provides residential and commercial pick-up. She offers a “Zero-free setup” for residential pick-ups, including bucket, countertop bin and compostable liners.

Indiana Recycling provides a list of compost haulers in Indiana.

For backyard composting, Indiana Organic Gardeners’ Association offers this article on composting tips, problems you may encounter and possible solutions.

Having a food plan, donating excess food and composting the food scraps you do have, are all ways we can work together as Hoosiers to make an effort toward less food waste.

Planning for the 2021 Earth Day Indiana Festival is under way! Mark your calendars for our new date and new location: June 5th, 2021 at Greenfield Park on Indianapolis’ near-south side.

The Earth Day Indiana Festival is an annual event in Indianapolis which seeks to celebrate and educate the public on all things surrounding environmental protection, conservation of natural resources and sustainable living.

For more than 30 years we have welcomed central Indiana families to learn and be inspired to do their part for environmental responsibility. This year’s festival is no exception!

Earth Day Every Day

Why the change in date from our long history of Earth Day Indiana Festival occurring in mid-April, around Earth Day?

If we know one thing about Indiana weather, it’s that it’s unpredictable! Our rain-or-shine festival has seen its share of inclement weather in April. By moving to the early June date we can all but ensure a beautiful, balmy day.

And besides … shouldn’t we celebrate Earth Day every day? Our festival seeks to promote recycling, protect natural resources and encourage everyday practices that are good for the earth … 24/7/365.

World Environment Day

There is no coincidence in our plans for the 2021 Earth Day Indiana Festival to occur on World Environment Day!

World Environment Day was initiated in 1974 by the United Nations, and has a different “host” country and theme, each year. This year’s theme is “biodiversity” and the host country is Columbia.

EarthDay.org recognized the Earth Day Indiana Festival as one of the most successful single-day events of its kind in the state. We’re certain to do our part not only for Hoosiers, but Midwesterners and beyond, as our festival draws attendees from all over!

Make plans now to attend Earth Day Indiana Festival on June 5th at Garfield Park in Indianapolis. Volunteers are welcome, as are exhibitors. Stay tuned to our Facebook page and event page as we share our lineup of the day’s festivities!