CEC hero image, a  photo of Array

Media Release

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation launches e-learning videos to support youth in their commitment to reduce food waste

With North Americans throwing out enough food yearly to bury the downtown of a major city, a new campaign aims to reduce food waste

Montreal, 3 September 2020—The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) today announced the launch of its “Let’s Shrink Food Waste Mountain” awareness campaign, which aims to address this major problem in North America (Canada, Mexico and United States). By educating youth on the impact of food loss and waste, the CEC hopes to inspire everyday behaviour changes!

To learn more about the problem and join the #ShrinkFoodWaste campaign, you can download the #FoodMattersActionKit here.

North Americans waste approximately 168 million tonnes of food per year—enough to bury the downtown area of a major city. This has serious environmental consequences. Wasting food also wastes all the resources that went into growing, transporting, selling, and preparing it. For example, the energy required to grow this wasted food could power 274 million homes. Additionally, decomposing food in landfills emits millions of tonnes of methane, a potent greenhouse gas with a stronger global warming impact than carbon dioxide. This makes wasted food a significant contributor to climate change.

Consumer behaviour is just one piece of addressing food waste. But it is an important one. Through a range of tools, including a series of e-learning videos, the CEC is shining a light on how young North Americans can help reduce their contributions to North America’s food waste problem—and in doing so, help the planet.

The e-learning videos, which connect to the CEC’s Food Matters Action Kit (FMAK), cover several important topics in an accessible and relatable way:

“We want to empower young people by providing concrete tools that help them address climate change directly in their homes, schools and communities. Our commitment at the CEC is to continue our work across all levels of the food supply chain to reduce food loss and waste, and we invite youth to join us as partners in addressing this significant environmental challenge,” said Richard Morgan, CEC Executive Director.

In addition to the e-learning videos, the CEC is sharing a series of images depicting the annual volume of food waste burying three regions selected as pilots for this campaign—Montréal, Canada, the Olympic Peninsula, United States, and Mérida, Mexico. It is hoped that a visual representation of this silent problem in iconic city landscapes will help “bring the issue home” to the viewer.

Everyone has an important role to play in reducing food waste—and it starts with education. The CEC created the Food Matters Action Kit to help educators support youth in making a difference. The Kit features dozens of fun and impactful activities and tips to better equip youth with the knowledge and tools they need to make changes at home and within their communities.

Save food. Save the planet.

For more information, or to request an interview, please contact:

Sarah Julien
Communications Coordinator
Commission for Environmental Cooperation

Montreal, Canada

About the CEC

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations

The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.

About the CEC video