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The City of Portland, Oregon

Sustainability at Work

Providing free tools and expertise to achieve your goals

Phone: 503-823-7037


Clean your plate (Mom was right)

Earth Day is April 22, so tip your hat to Mother Earth by listening to what moms have been saying for years.

clean your plate

Why Mom was right

About 15 percent of household carbon emissions come from food: that includes the energy and resources it takes to produce, distribute and dispose of food. And the average family throws away 25 percent of the food it buys!

How it benefits you

Saving money! That 25 percent of food the average family throws away costs about $1,600 a year.

Plus, choosing more fruits, veggies and grains will help you stay healthy and save money while reducing your carbon impact.

What you can do

Stretch the life of your perishable food. Don’t assume a date stamp means the food has gone bad. Learn how long foods really last.

Eat more fruits, veggies and grains. Trimming down the amount of processed (or packaged) foods and meat you eat can make a big impact because they use tons of energy to grow and process.

Big or small, compost it all. Whether you are cleaning out the fridge, scraping your plate or prepping food, composting all of your food scraps is an important way to reduce your carbon emissions.

Check out more tips and resources.

More things Mom got right (but let’s keep this between us):

Data on carbon impacts of food and food waste are from Climate Action Now from the City of Portland.