Tell Michigan to focus on food waste for a healthy climate

Michigan just put out a first draft of the Michigan Healthy Climate Plan—the roadmap for our state’s climate future. 

It’s a great start, but we think it needs to go further, especially in regard to reducing food waste. 

From now until March 14th, Michigan is accepting public comments on the draft plan. This is a critical chance for the community to help shape how our state creates a healthier climate over the next 30 years. 

We need to use this opportunity to reinforce our message that Michigan must prioritize food waste reduction. 

Why prioritize food waste reduction? 

How big of a problem is food waste? We don’t consume 40% of the food we grow. In Michigan, we unnecessarily put 1.8 billion pounds of food in landfills each year. 

More than just food goes to waste. When food goes to waste, we’re also wasting many other resources that went into producing that food, like water, land, transportation, packaging, and labor. 

Less waste means more money. The average family of four wastes $1600 a year in uneaten food. Reducing food waste can help increase financial security for Michigan households. 

We can feed our communities. 1 in 7 Michigan residents faces food insecurity. Meanwhile, the US landfills enough food to feed 2.5 times the country’s population. 

Better for the climate. When food decomposes in a landfill, it releases methane, the most potent greenhouse gas. “Wasted” food is responsible for 10% of the US’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

What should I say in my public comment? 

You can use this sample text, customize it, or write your own comment. 

“Food waste reduction is one of the most effective solutions to climate change and should be prioritized in The Michigan Healthy Climate Plan. We don’t consume 40% of the food we grow, and “wasted” food is responsible for 10% of the US’s greenhouse gas emissions. While Michigan puts 1.8 billion pounds of food in landfills each year, 1 in 7 Michigan residents faces food insecurity. Reducing food waste is a crucial step to creating a healthy climate and healthy communities in Michigan. 

The Michigan Healthy Climate Plan should include more of the Recommended Food Loss and Waste Reduction Strategies submitted by Michigan nonprofits Make Food Not Waste, Food Rescue US-Detroit, and FoodPLUS Detroit. These recommendations include: 

  • Making it easier to share and donate safe and edible food that would otherwise go to waste by increasing food donation liability protections and reducing restrictions on sales past “best by” dates. 
  • Empower Michigan households to cut their food waste and save money by creating education campaigns around food safety, date labeling, and composting. 
  • Increasing the availability and accessibility of composting for all communities in Michigan. 
  • Providing additional support and education to schools and restaurants—both of which produce high volumes of food waste—to encourage food waste reduction and help feed communities experiencing food insecurity.” 

How do I submit my comment? 

Michigan accepted public comments on the Michigan Healthy Climate Plan draft up until March 14, 2022.

Learn more about the Michigan Healthy Climate Plan and how to share a comment. 

Logo - Make Food Not Waste - Creating lasting solutions to food waste in Detroit