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Action alert

Eco-Challenge: Reduce, reuse, recycle food waste

 Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet


As part of our commitment to Earth via our Laudato Si’ Action Plan, we are inviting everyone who shares in our charism to take a monthly Eco-Challenge with us.

Don’t let your food go to waste

Our September Eco-Challenge is all about eliminating food waste. We are examining our habits related to planning meals, purchasing food and consuming leftovers.

Food waste in landfills has a big ecological impact. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in the United States, food is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills, where it emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Municipal solid waste landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 14.1% of these emissions in 2017.

We invite you to consider how smart planning and shopping can help you reduce, reuse and recycle any food waste and keep it out of landfills.

Three panels show a person's hands. 1 checking off a grocery list, 2. putting leftovers into a fridge and 3. pouring food scraps into a compost bin


Plan your meals and write a thorough grocery list. This can help you purchase only the food you are confident you can use while it’s fresh. If you have to buy an ingredient in a larger quantity than you need for one dish, consider how it could be used in multiple ways throughout the week.


Develop a plan for leftovers. Store them properly to avoid spoilage and ensure food safety. Plan dishes that repurpose what’s in your refrigerator. Pack your leftovers for lunch the following day, and you can save money as well!


Compost those items that do go bad or can’t be utilized in other ways. Nutrient-rich compost will help nourish new plants, so your food scraps can be “recycled” into new food.

Meal planning may be something you do spontaneously day to day. Or it might be something you already have a system for. It can be hard to change our routines, but we guarantee your efforts will have a positive impact on the Earth.

Season of Creation

Let Justice and Peace Flow, Season of Creation 2023 logo

This month, Christians worldwide celebrate the Season of Creation. It begins on September 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and continues through October 4, the Feast of St Francis. This year’s theme is “Let Justice and Peace Flow.” It’s an especially good month to challenge yourself to make changes to help the Earth.

“How can we contribute to the mighty river of justice and peace in this Season of Creation? What can we, particularly as Christian communities, do to heal our common home so that it can once again teem with life? We must do this by resolving to transform our hearts, our lifestyles, and the public policies ruling our societies.”

Pope Francis

Take the Eco-Challenge

How many of these actions will you take this month?

  • Plan your menus for the week and make a detailed list of the food items you will need
  • Develop a method to track the perishable foods that you have purchased so that you are sure to use them before they go to waste
  • For leftovers and scraps you can’t use, consider backyard composting or a contract with the many companies that now pick up your compost for a reasonable fee.

Spread the word

  • Leave a comment about how you’re taking the challenge below.
  • Invite others to take the September Eco-Challenge by sharing our post on Facebook, Instagram and/or X.

2 thoughts on “Eco-Challenge: Reduce, reuse, recycle food waste”

  1. Avatar

    I live at the Albany PH so am limited by the food service we use. I look at monthly meal lists and pick main meals to keep me at 3 meat meals/week and use the salad bar for other meals. For the 2 meals/day that I order a tray I only order what I will eat when I get a menu.

  2. Avatar

    I shop for my local community at Carondelet. Happily, the Carondelet administration has provided excellent opportunities for recycling and composting. We do our best to avoid plastics – like using our own shopping bags.
    I am also a great fan of second-hand stores – most of my clothes come from them. (I am not looking for comments on my underdeveloped fashion sense!)
    As we’ve said in many ways, all of creation is our Dear Neighbor and I think that the we in the vowed life have a vowed responsibility to live simply and give witness to an alternative economy that includes reverence for creation and a sharing of all we are and have.

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About us

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are a congregation of Catholic sisters. We, and those who share our charism and mission, are motivated in all things by our profound love of God and our dear neighbors. We seek to build communities and bridge divides between people. Since our first sisters gathered in 1650, our members have been called to “do all things of which women are capable.” The first sisters of our congregation arrived in St. Louis, Missouri in 1836, and we now have additional locations in St. Paul, Albany, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan and Peru. Today, we commit to respond boldly to injustice and dare to be prophetic.


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