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Take the Food Hero Pledge, commit to reduce food waste, and help mitigate climate change

This year, in celebration of Food Waste Prevention Week April 10 to 16, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is encouraging families to take the Food Hero Pledge. Reducing food waste is the simplest action each of us can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help slow climate change.  It also helps increase food security, preserves critical natural resources, and saves money.  Preventing food waste is estimated to save a family of four an average $1,800 annually. 

Food Hero Pledge form

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that one-third of all food produced annually goes to waste.  The latest EGLE solid waste reporting data shows that 38% of all waste landfilled in Michigan is organics and compostable material, with a large portion of that being food waste.

Michigan’s MI Healthy Climate Plan goals target:

  • Cutting food loss and waste in half by 2030.
  • Increasing the state’s recycling rate to 45% for commonly recycled curbside materials and organics.

Tips for Pledges

Get as much mileage out of your food as you can.

  • Eat those leftovers! Not craving them? Just put them in the freezer to prevent spoilage so you can enjoy them next week or in a few months and skip having to cook.
  • Find a reuse for food you thought was waste.  You can store veggie scraps and bones in a freezer bag for making into soup stock.  Stale bread can become delicious croutons or breadcrumbs.  Orange peels and vinegar is an excellent homemade house cleaning solution. 
  • Share what you won’t eat or freeze with family, friends, or neighbors to enjoy.

Investigate Sell By, Best By, Use By dates and labels on food products.

  • They don’t all mean the same thing, learn more about what each label means and how to navigate expired items with food preservation mind.
  • Checking canned goods to see if they’re swollen, leaking, or bulging, and discard them if any of these conditions exist.

Use the Sustainable Food Management Hierarchy to help guide your decisions.

Sustainable Food Management Hierarchy pyramid

Commit to composting.

  • You can do this through an exterior or interior vermicompost bin, your backyard, or through a drop-off or curbside cart service. 
  • Learn more about composting with our home composting guide and video
  • For pick-up or drop off options, contact your waste hauler, municipality, local recycling contact, or search our Michigan Recycling Directory for organics, whether it’s for food scraps, leaves, branches or some other organic material.

Learn more about food waste prevention and recycling at   Learn more about composting at