Low Waste Living Event Series

If you’re ready to learn and take action on living a lower waste lifestyle, we’re here for you!  With the help of a $10,000 grant from Hennepin County in 2021-2022, we brought in experts to equip you with the knowledge, skills, and tools to reduce your packaging and food waste.

Approximately 30 percent of annual US waste is plastic and other packaging waste. 
Of the 34.5 million tons of plastic waste generated each year, only 9 percent is recycled, with most being shipped to other countries.
The average American family wastes $1,500 worth of food each year.
53 million tons of food is sent to landfills each year.

Fall events focused on packaging waste with virtual events talking about the problems with plastic, how to reduce your packaging waste, how to shop in bulk, and how to advocate for systems level change. In winter and spring, we turned our focus to reducing food waste with events focused on reduction strategies, sustainable kitchen and cooking practices, and organics recycling. You can view the event recordings linked below.

Event Recordings and Resources

Organics Recycling Made Easy Workshop

This session shares all the tips and tricks for simplifying organics recycling in your home. Whether you’ve already got your green bin, are considering getting one, or utilize drop sites, we’ve got you covered. Presenter Andrea Siegel is a Hennepin County Master Recycler Composter and her goal is to simplify the Organics Recycling process, motivate you to stay committed, and provide solutions for those who are ready to give up. View the event recording here. Check out her resource list here and her presentation slides here.

New Tips for Cooking to Reduce Food Waste

We were thrilled to host a cooking demonstration featuring Chow Girls Executive Chef Liz Mullen. This session brought us into the kitchen to share recipes and tips for using up foods before they go to waste. Chowgirls was the first green caterer in Minnesota and is a leader in sustainable food and events in Minnesota. View the event recording here. Download the presentation here, the recipes here, and the food seasonality charts here.

Plan, Shop, Store: Creative Ways to Reduce Your Food Waste

This session focused on how to modify your shopping habits and food storage to create less food waste. Our presenter, Amy Maas, a Waste Reduction and Recycling Specialist with Hennepin County, covered concrete techniques for reducing your waste through better planning, shopping with a different lens, and modifying how you store and utilize food throughout the week. Whether you’re shopping for one or for an entire family, this session is for you! Watch the recording here and view the presentation slides here.

Transitioning to a Zero Waste Lifestyle: Bulk Shopping,

This virtual session featured Amber Haukedahl, owner of Tare Market, who provided an overview of how you can begin living a zero waste lifestyle. The session will covered what zero waste means and how to make it work for you, your budget, and your lifestyle. Plus it provided an overview and tips for of how to shop in bulk. Watch the recording here and view the presentation slides here.

Overcoming the Challenges of Packaging Waste

Why is food and product packaging so confusing and why is there so much of it? This session is for anyone wanting to learn how to reduce packaging waste. Experts shared their tips on how to shop for conscientiously packaged consumables like groceries, beauty products, takeout food, and more. We also learned about how we can advocate for change at a policy/systems level. Speakers included Representative Jamie Long, Co President of Eureka Recycling, Lynn Hoffman, CEO of Forever Ware, Natasha Gaffer, and owner of Zero(ish), Kate Marnach. Watch the recording on Zoom or on Facebook.

Plastic Wars Film Screening and Discussion

Learn more about the problems with plastic waste and potential solutions as part of our virtual film screening and panel discussion linked here. Attendees were invited to watch the documentary Plastic Wars on their own time and then joined speakers Kellie Kish, Recycling Coordinator for the City of Minneapolis and Andrea Siegel, Hennepin County Master Recycler Composter, for a discussion of the film and the challenges with plastics and plastic recycling. View the recording here and check out the presentation slides here.