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, we’re bringing in experts and equipping 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. You can view the event recordings linked below. In winter and spring, we are turning our focus to reducing food waste with events focused on reduction strategies, sustainable kitchen and cooking practices, and organics recycling. 

Each event will be paired with a giveaway of tools that will help you reduce your waste including: unpaper towels, reusable storage containers and produce bags, compost bins and bags, and gift cards to bulk shopping stores. Plus, if you attend two or more events, you’ll be entered into our raffle for two $50 gift cards (winner’s choice: Tare Market, Zero-ish, or any Forever Ware participating restaurants)!

Make Your Commitment

We’re asking people to make a commitment to reduce waste by completing our online form and then reporting on progress. Sometimes we all need a little accountability! This also helps us track our impact for grant funding. Better yet, you’ll be entered to win one of two $50 gift cards (winner’s choice: Tare Market, Zero-ish, or any Forever Ware participating restaurants)! Make your commitment here.

Upcoming Events:

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

Saturday January 29 10:30am

Register here for this free, virtual session focused on how to modify your shopping habits and food storage to create less food waste. You will leave this session with 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. We will encourage registrants to complete a food waste audit ahead of the session to better understand where your waste is coming from and what areas you could focus on for improvement. Whether you’re shopping for one or for an entire family, this session is for you! And as a bonus, twenty attendees will win reusable produce bags for pick up in Tangletown.

Our presenter is Amy Maas, a Waste Reduction and Recycling Specialist with Hennepin County’s Department of Environment and Energy. She helps residents and businesses improve their recycling and composting as well as reduce waste by serving as a grant manager, the Coordinator of the Zero Waste Challenge program, and a co-facilitator of the Master Recycler/Composter course.  She also works in commercial food waste prevention and will be assisting with engagement for the development of a Zero Waste Plan for the county.

New Tips for Cooking to Reduce Food Waste

Wednesday February 16, 7:00pm

We are thrilled to host a cooking demonstration featuring Chow Girls Executive Chef Liz Mullen. This session will virtually bring you into the kitchen and share recipes for using up foods before they go to waste. There will also be a live Q&A where you can ask about your food waste challenges in the kitchen.  If you’re a fan of Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s Turkey Confidential, think of this as our version of Sustainability Confidential! Chowgirls was the first green caterer in Minnesota and is a leader in sustainable food and events in Minnesota. Twenty attendees will win a set of compostable bags for attending. Register here.

Organics Recycling Made Easy Workshop

Thursday March 31, 7:00pm

Join us as we share 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. She’ll also help tie your individual actions to the larger picture of fighting climate change. To help you get started or increase your use, twenty attendees will win countertop or freezer compost bins. Register here.

All events are free, virtual, and include giveaways for participants.

Please note that pick up of giveaways will be located in Tangletown, Minneapolis MN 55419. Delivery of giveaways is not possible.

Past Event Recordings and Resources

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.