The great thing about fighting food waste is that you can do it at every meal of every day. But as more people and organizations tackle this incredibly important issue, we’ve been glad to see more days, weeks and months designated as periods for extra awareness and action.
Whether you’re looking to peg your own event, projects or social media to a special time, or just want to learn more about the hows and whys of reducing food loss and waste, keep these days, weeks and months on your calendar.
International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste
Organized by: United Nations Environment Programme
History: Annual since 2020
Mission: From their website: “The IDAFLW will make a clear call to action for public and private entities, from across the food system, and consumers to work together to cut food loss and waste (FLW) to mitigate climate change, and support food security and nutrition.”
Getting involved: Check the website for up-to-day details. In 2022, organizers offered a guide and digital asset library and invited people around the world to organize events ranging from cooking demonstrations to festivals to lectures.
Stop Food Waste Day
Typically the Wednesday of Earth Week (which is usually the third week of April)
Organized by: Compass Group USA (a food service company)
History: Launched in 2017
Mission: From their website: “Our mission at Stop Food Waste Day is to ignite change regarding the global food waste issue. We do this by drawing attention to the problem, at the same time educating through engaging with society at all levels and sharing practical, creative, and impactful ways we can all change our behaviour to minimise food waste.”
Getting involved: At the website you can download printable, action-oriented posters for your school or office, as well as social media graphics that spread the word about food waste problems and solutions.
Food Waste Action Week
March (In 2023: March 6-12)
Organized by: U.K.-based Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)
History: Annual since 2021; Went international in 2022 with participation from 12 countries.
Mission: From their website: “4.5 million tonnes of edible food is thrown away each year by UK households. Shockingly, 25% of this wasted food is due to cooking, preparing or serving too much – this costs UK households £3.5 billion each year. That is why Love Food Hate Waste is dedicating a whole week of action to shining a light on how simple behaviours to reduce food waste can save time and money. This will ultimately reduce the impact of food waste on climate change.”
Getting involved: The 2023 Food Waste Action Week will be themed “‘Win. Don’t Bin.’” Per the website: “There are a number of ways to support the week: through direct sponsorship; running events and PR activity; and through helping to spread the campaign’s key messages across your own networks.” Downloadable media kit are available on WRAP’s website.
UNITED STATES – NATIONAL
Food Waste Prevention Week
Mid April (In 2023: April 10-16)
Organized by: A collaboration between a number of organizations and agencies.
History: What started as a Florida effort in 2021 has grown into a national event with multiple states and cities partnering.
Mission: From the website: “To support a healthier environment and help families save money by educating the public about reducing food waste at home, at work, and in their communities.”
Getting involved: The week includes webinars, a student poster contest and in-person events ranging from cooking demonstrations to food waste trivia nights. The website has more about partnerships, sponsorships, social media, teaching resources and other ways to get involved.
UNITED STATES – REGIONAL EVENTS WITH GLOBALLY AVAILABLE CONTENT
DMV Food Recovery Week
Formerly Mid-October – Now part of Food Waste Prevention Week (above) in April
Organized by: A collaboration between the DC Food Recovery Working Group, Manna Food Center’s Community Food Rescue, the Montgomery County Food Council and Prince George’s County Food Equity Council
History: Since the week launched in 2016, events have included composting classes, lectures about reducing food waste at home, farm tours, cooking contests and panels about food waste-fighting policies and initiatives. In 2023 organizers opted to cease work on the October week, to plan events for national Food Waste Prevention Week in April, but webinar recordings are still available on the website.
Mission: Reducing food waste and increasing food security generally and also via specific programs and efforts in the Washington, D.C. metro area.
Getting involved: While this week was pegged to fighting food waste and hunger in the Washington, D.C. metro region, many of its presentations were virtual and available to anyone, anywhere (through the website you can also navigate to recordings of previous year’s content). The week offered a slate of classes, panels and in-person events that varied every year–that energy is now put toward creating events for Food Waste Prevention Week in the spring.
NV Food Waste Awareness Month
Organized by: Nevada Division of Environmental Protection
History: First annual in 2022.
Mission: Food Waste Awareness
Getting involved: Some presentations from 2022 are still available online. No details about 2023 are posted as of this writing (January 2023), but check their website for updates!
March 22 – World Water Day
March 30 – International Day of Zero Waste
April – Earth Month
April 22 – Earth Day
May (in 2023: May 7-13) – International Compost Awareness Week
October – Energy Awareness Month
Oct. 16 – World Food Day
Nov. 15 – America Recycles Day
Thanks to Beth Gingold of Recycle Leaders for help compiling this list! What other days, weeks or months should we add? Email [email protected].