Quantifying Food Recovery’s Eco Impact

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could figure out the environmental benefits of diverting food from landfills?

Good news, as Australia’s FareShare has done just that. The Victoria food recovery organization recently estimated that their 2008-2009 efforts will avoid 620 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions.

What does that really mean? Well, FareShare was kind enough to convert that total to more understandable terms: The greenhouse gas savings are the equivalent of turning off 953 refrigerators for the year or preventing 730 homes from sending stuff to the landfill.

image courtesy of FareShareAll of that just by recovering edible food that would otherwise be thrown away and distributing it to those in need!

Estimating the environmental benefit is a wise move for all food rescue groups in that it helps justify their importance. Being able to say that your organization reduces greenhouse gas emissions by ‘x’ amount would surely help with funding.

FareShare has developed an Excel sheet to calculate the environmental benefits of their food recovery. No word yet on whether it is available for others’ use, but you can get an idea on how FareShare comes up with their figures by looking at table 4-4 on page 14.

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