Here at Sierra Outdoor School, we do not believe in wasting resources. In efforts to reduce our waste we have many programs including an Energy Competition where students can monitor their energy usage, a kitchen with all reusable materials, reusable water bottles for sale, and finally our cutest way to minimize food waste is our "Pig Post". Some people may compost their food waste at home, here the pigs do that for us: we call this "Pig Posting" (get it? :D).
One of our naturalists, Ed (or Squirrel), has four pigs that live here near the school. These pigs are fed all of the food that students and adults do not eat during their stay at SOS. As a part of a public school system, we are required to prepare a specific amount of food per person per meal, whether they eat it or not, according to California State guidelines. This leads to leftovers at each meal. Our "Pig Post" program feeds the pigs instead of adding to the landfill.
After each meal students will bring up the food that is not eaten (see tater tots and tortellini bellow), and put it in the Pig Post Bin.
After the food has been placed in the bin, the food gets placed into sealed (animal-proof) containers and left behind the kitchen until Ed (naturalist and pig owner) has a chance to pick it up.
The food is then stored in a refrigerator either on campus or at Ed’s home until it is dinner time!
The pigs are fed twice a day. They eat about 40 pounds a day (a little less when they are younger, a little more when they are older). The leftovers from one meal for 100 students feeds the pigs for an entire day.We host anywhere from 50-500 students a week generally eating 2-3 meals here a day. By feeding the pigs our leftovers about 11,000 lbs of food waste per school year is put to use instead being sent to the landfill (for us, that would be all the way to Nevada!). Since there is a little more food than our pigs can consume in one year, the extra food waste is given to fellow local pig farmers. And just in case you were concerned, we do not serve any pork!
What do you do to limit food waste?
What do you with your food waste?