DHEC Encourages Residents To Be Good Stewards Of The Environment And Mindful of Food Waste

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) encourages residents to be good stewards of the environment and be mindful of the foods they purchase that could potentially go to waste during the rest of the holiday season. Celebrations during the last few weeks of the year may also include gift packaging, decorations and other items that increase the potential for household waste.
“Unnecessary waste can be prevented if we make environmentally sound decisions while enjoying the holidays,” said Richard Chesley, DHEC’s Section Manager for the Office of Solid Waste Reduction & Recycling. “We encourage all South Carolinians to be conservative in how much food they purchase to prevent food waste, and to do the same with gift-wrapping paper and other items used during the holidays.”
DHEC further encourages healthy food habits through its Don’t Waste Food SC campaign, one that includes working with various organizations with the common goals of information-sharing and coordinating resources to reduce food waste. According to data compiled through the campaign:
• Up to 40 percent nation’s annual food supply is never consumed, which equals a yearly loss of up to $218 billion
• More than 38 million Americans are food-insecure
• One of every nine South Carolinians, including 600,000 children, face hunger challenges
“These issues can be resolved through purchasing less food items to reduce waste and by donating food once it’s clear you have a surplus,” Chesley said. “This is especially true during the holiday season but can and should be applied throughout the year.”
In addition to food waste reduction, DHEC offers resources here on the right ways to recycle, where to recycle, and how to safely dispose of items that cannot be recycled. Recyclable items during the holiday season can include giftwrapping paper, cardboard boxes, Christmas trees, and various other items.
Working together, we can make the holidays better for everyone and help protect the environment all at the same time.
More information and helpful recycling tips are available on South Carolina’s Recycle Right SC campaign page.

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