e-alliance ::

Action Alert: Fast for Life! – Join the Zero Waste Daily Challenge

3. March 2014

    This week is the beginning of Lent – a time when we can “Fast for Life” and commit to reducing food waste and injustice.


    When we consider the amount of natural resources and energy that it takes to get food from the fields to our forks, each one of us needs to commit to being a responsible consumer. Spending money is a responsibility, since the act of spending has the potential to influence social, economic and environmental stability on a global scale. Living in the spirit of ‘conscious consumer’ means looking beyond ‘finding the best deal’ to thinking about the impacts that your purchase has on the environment and the lives of the chain of people involved in getting the food from the ground to your table.


    Where is the waste?


    • According to the FAO, 33-40% of food is lost or wasted during production, transportation, and processing and through household waste.
    • 28% of the world’s agricultural land grows crops that are wasted. That equals the total land area of China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan.
    • The annual water wasted in growing those crops equals the annual flow rate of the Zambese or Volga Rivers, an amount that could cover all the world’s household needs.
    • Wasted food emits some 3,300,000,000 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases. If this were a country, it would be the third worst emitting country in the world.
    • Industrial fishing fleets throw out approximately 7 million tonnes per year, not including the 40 million sharks killed each year for their fins.


    What can you do?


    Since 2011, EAA has encouraged individuals to become conscious consumers by reducing food waste and post-harvest loses. For some of us, this means addressing our own consumer habits, for others it may be working with local farmer networks or advocating with government for support to minimize harvest and storage losses.


    In 2014, we invite you to take the Zero Waste Daily Challenge!


    Each day, EAA will post a daily challenge on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag#EAAzerowaste. Commit to the challenge on Ash Wednesday (5 March) and join with others around the world in collective actions over 10 days. Examples of the actions that will be posted are:

    • Take stock of your fridge: Rotate food that needs to be used first to the front of your fridge and freeze leftovers. Taking a proper inventory of your fridge will help you to use up produce before it expires.
    • Join others in prayer for sustainable consumption: Organize a worship service on Ash Wednesday or on another day in Lent using the EAA liturgy or other worship resources to reflect on the inequalities that allow for hunger and over-consumption in this world.
    • Get to know the people who bring your food from the ground to your table. Invite them to answer the ‘Waste not, want not’ questionnaire available in our Fast for Life resource library. Form a study group to look at the responses and come up with action that your community can take to reduce waste. Why not push for a community compost initiative or lobby for a waste reduction law?
    • Host a movie night: Select a movie from EAA’s extensive learning library and watch it with your family or people from your community.

    Simple actions such as these will bring us one step closer to reducing food waste.


    Rate your success


    At the end of the ten days, let us know how you did. You can rate your success by the number of daily challenges completed. If you managed to successfully accomplish the ten days of the challenge, you are ‘Zero Waste Hero’! Five days earns you the title of Pro Minimizer of Waste. Three days makes you a Novice Food Waste Contender. Don’t forget to post your results and tell YOUR food waste story through words, pictures and actions on Facebook (/foodforlifecampaign), and Twitter (@e_alliance). Winners will be featured in the next Food for Life news bulletin. In the spirit of Christian stewardship, let’s take this moment to reflect and act to reduce food waste and over-consumption, and to promote the right to food for all people.


The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is a broad international network of churches and Christian organizations cooperating in advocacy on food and HIV and AIDS. The Alliance is based in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, see http://www.e-alliance.ch/

Food Campaign
HIV and AIDS Campaign
EAA Resources