Lenten Ecology, Prayer, and Practice – Week 3: March 8 – 14

Consider Composting

Here is a printable one page version of the below information: 2021 Lenten Program WEEK 3

Here is a printable one page version of the below information (large font): 2021 Lenten Program WEEK 3

Reflection and Action

We have come to week three of our Lenten practice in which we will look at, and consider food waste and how to change how much waste we produce. Food waste is a problem in the United States. According to the USDA website, it’s estimated that there was approximately 133 billion pounds of food wasted in 2010 – that translates to roughly $161 billion. As we learned in week one, “The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place.”

We have options for what to do with extra food. One option is to freeze what isn’t needed right away – or, freeze leftovers for a later meal. Share with a family member, friend or neighbor. If you have extra nonperishable items (dried beans, pasta, or canned goods) donate to a food shelf.

Other items that can be composted include: paper napkins (even those with printing – or, better yet, switch to cloth napkins), paper towels, tissues, coffee and filters, and tea and tea bags (without staples). Toilet Paper rolls and paper towel rolls can either be composted or recycled. A full list can be found in your city or county guidelines.

Composting has become more popular in recent years. According to drawdown.org, in 2015 the US composted approximately 38 percent of food waste; the European Union was far ahead of the US and composted 57 percent of its food waste. For food that isn’t able to be used, because it has spoiled, composting is a great way to give back to the earth. There are a couple of composting options – backyard composting and industrial composting. The St. Paul Province collects industrial compost in our Randolph Ave. campus buildings and in the green compost dumpster behind Carondelet Center. Check for guidelines for both backyard and industrial composting on your city/county website.

For information about food waste and composting visit these websites: