Thank You EPA
Once a month I add up how much foodwaste we’ve intercepted from local Albuquerque businesses for our compost heaps and translate that into greenhouse gas emissions savings. I use tools provided by the EPA to do this. The WARM (Waste Reduction Model) calculator converts tons of foodwaste composted into Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent, allowing us to put a number to the quantity of greenhouse gas that we have prevented from entering the atmosphere. Once I get that number, I use another EPA resource – the Greenhouse Gas Equivalency Calculator, which translates Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent into something the average person can wrap their brain around – like how many tree seedlings sequester that amount of carbon over 10 years.
Last week when I went to the EPA website to use these tools to generate our monthly update, I had a moment of worry where I wondered, What if it’s not there? The day before the president announced the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate agreement, a decision that flies in the face of science, economics, and any notion of our global interdependence. Since then, the EPA director (a climate change skeptic) has defended the decision using numerous false claims about the science of climate change. In this era, we can no longer have confidence that government leaders will direct their agencies to provide the best information possible to understand climate change, much less to combat it.
Thankfully, the resources were still on the EPA website last week, and here’s what I can report:
Year to date, Soilutions has worked with Albuquerque area business to divert 992 tons, or 470,089 pounds of foodwaste from the landfill. By composting that food, instead of letting it rot in a landfill, we prevented 713 Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide (MTCO2) from entering the atmosphere. That is equivalent to:
I hope that this resource will continue to be available through the EPA website for all of us who rely on it. I hope that all of you will continue to hold this government accountable to serve “We the People”.
Keep recycling, keep on improving your little patch of earth, keep reaching out to your elected representatives, and don’t take anything for granted.