ASHLAND, Ore. -- The city of Ashland is making the environment a priority.
Ashland's climate and energy action plan passed in 2017. Monday night they met with people in the community to discuss their progress. So far, 59% of their goals are complete or on track to be complete by 2020. Some goals include improving transportation, making buildings more efficient and making ecosystems healthy.
The Southern Oregon Food Solutions' is a new group in Ashland. The groups goal is to minimize food waste by educating local restaurants and the community.
"No planet, no children," Ann Barton, an educator for Southern Oregon Food Solutions, said. "I mean it's that serious."
Barton says we have 10 years to decrease our greenhouse gases on the globe by 45% or the impact on the environment could be devastating.
"Instead of saying 'oh portland can do it', we can do it right here and Ashland certainly can," Julie Caldwell, an educator for Southern Oregon Food Solutions, said.
The group hopes to reduce waste by 15% in the next year, that would be 110,000 pounds of food not going to a land fill.
"We waste 40% of our food in this country," Caldwell said. "The problem with wasted food is that it creates a greenhouse gas called methane and methane is 70% worse than carbon."
Ashland's Standing Stone Brewing Company tries not to throw anything away. Their menu specials are all created from scraps of other foods that are on the actual menu that they didn't fully use. Employees are also trained to sort their trash in different colored buckets: trash, recycling, soft plastics and compost.
"That prevents a lot of waste because nothing is just getting thrown away," Nechelle Lalonde, the manager of Standing Stone Brewing Company, said. "It has to start somewhere, I can't say we will change everything but at least I can go to bed at night knowing that I'm doing my part and that everyone here is doing their part.”