Good eats for deer, squirrels, microbes

Reupping this from a year ago …

Pumpkins rotting in landfills produce methane, a climate change-causing greenhouse gas, and an especially scary one at that—it’s 20 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

So, if you don’t send your old pumpkin out in the trash, destined for burial in a landfill, what’s the best thing you can do with it?

We talked to three experts from CFAES for options. Spoiler alert: Sometimes (dun dun dun) they come back.

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‘Know more, waste less’

“As future leaders in the food and agriculture industry, we believe it is our social responsibility to consume and produce food in a conscientious manner.”

So says CFAES PhD student Aishwarya Badiger in our latest CFAES Story, which looks at her work with Know Food Waste, an award-winning CFAES student group.

Read the story.

What to do with a Christmas tree after Christmas? A quick Q&A with 3 experts from CFAES

Sales of real Christmas trees “are booming as pandemic-weary Americans seek solace,” said a recent headline in the New York Times.

That’s good news for Christmas tree growers, like these in Ohio. But in the interest of recycling and reducing solid waste, what are some good green options to do with a Christmas tree after Christmas?

Here are suggestions from three CFAES experts.

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Preventing plastic pollution at Put-in-Bay

Jill Bartolotta of the Ohio State-based Ohio Sea Grant program and Sue Bixler of CFAES’s Stone Laboratory have received a nearly $50,000 grant to educate visitors to South Bass Island about plastic trash — how it hurts water quality and wildlife and how to prevent it.

South Bass Island, located in western Lake Erie and home of the tourist town of Put-in-Bay, annually sees more than 800,000 visitors.

Read the full story about the grant.

Learning from what’s in the can

Ohio State student employees are digging through garbage cans full of thrown-away food — messy, sloppy, smelly, tossed food — in the name of sustainability. They’re helping with food waste audits being done to help the university try to meet one of its sustainability goals: diverting 90 percent of its waste from landfills by 2025. Read the full story.

In the meantime, researchers will share results from the audits at Ohio State’s Oct. 11 Food Waste Collaborative Conference, which CFAES is sponsoring. Glean further details on the conference’s website, including a link to register.

If buried in a landfill, discarded food rots and produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Limiting landfilled food waste reduces that methane production and in turn helps slow human-caused climate change.