Today, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Girl Scouts San Diego, Feeding San Diego and Swinerton Renewable Energy launched a new “Climate Controller” Girl Scouts patch. The new patch will inspire girls to learn about the linkage between food waste and climate change, helping them to become Climate Controllers through food rescue.
Satya S. Tripathi, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the New York Office at UN Environment issued the following statement endorsing the new patch. The Climate Controller patch addresses multiple sustainable development goals of the United Nations, including climate action, no hunger, responsible consumption and partnerships. The patch is also supported by the United Nations Association San Diego.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, more people than ever before are experiencing hunger — heightening the importance of food rescue. Girl Scouts can earn their Climate Controller patch remotely with simple activities they can do in their own homes, such as taking a no food waste pledge, conducting a food waste audit, making recipes out of food that would otherwise go to waste, and growing vegetables from scraps.
“Girl Scouts’ mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place,” said Carol Dedrich, CEO of Girl Scouts San Diego. “The new Climate Controller patch is an excellent addition to our environmental, STEM and community service offerings. Through this exciting collaboration with Feeding San Diego and Swinerton, Girl Scouts in kindergarten through grade 12 will learn about the serious issue of food waste and discover how food rescue reduces environmental impacts.”
Food waste accounts for eight percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. When we discard still-edible food into the trash it ends up in landfills, where it generates carbon dioxide and methane. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, 34 percent of all methane emissions in the U.S. come from landfills. If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world, after the U.S. and China.
“One in eight people in San Diego County face hunger, including one in six children, and yet 40 percent of all food produced is wasted — more than enough to end hunger,” said Vince Hall, CEO of Feeding San Diego. “By diverting nearly 26 million pounds of good food from the landfill last year, Feeding San Diego is able to nourish people across San Diego County facing hunger and simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 23,020 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Feeding people and not landfills is good for humanity and the planet.”
“Swinerton is guided by a goal to serve our communities, not only through the clean energy our solar projects provide, but through partnerships with local organizations like Feeding San Diego and Girl Scouts San Diego,” said Jennifer Hershman, Community Relations Coordinator for Swinerton Renewable Energy. “You don’t need to work for a solar company to make a difference. We all have a role to play in building a brighter future. The four-part Climate Controller patch program provides STEM education through easy, at-home activities and empowers girls to take action to help fight climate change. We’re excited to continue this collaboration with Girl Scouts as we roll out additional patches focusing on trees, solar energy and water conservation in the coming months.”
“The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the ultimate blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. Each of us, citizens and community partners alike, have to do our part to fulfill the promise for an inclusive world,” said Bettina Hausmann, President of United Nations Association San Diego. “Sustainability starts at home. The Climate Controller patch is an impressive alliance between Girl Scouts San Diego, Feeding San Diego, and Swinerton Renewable Energy that exemplifies compassionate service while addressing many of the SDGs. Today’s girls are tomorrow’s leaders, therefore the critical lessons girls will learn through this patch will pay dividends in the future.”