Listen up, friends. If you haven’t heard yet, food waste is a major problem in the U.S. The average American citizen throws out roughly 20 pounds of food per month which totals out to about 30 million tons of food waste entering the waste stream every single year. All the while, there are millions of hungry people who could really use salvageable produce. Not only is it unfathomable to think of throwing away so much perfectly good food, but there are also profound environmental impacts. When organic waste breaks down, it releases methane – a potent greenhouse gas – and amounts to around seven percent of global methane emissions. Given the fact that methane has a global warming potential 20 times higher than carbon dioxide, we should be doing everything we can to reduce the impact of food waste emissions.

Luckily, amazing technologies seem to be popping up across the country to stop unnecessary waste. Take, for example, innovator Komal Ahmad‘s Copia app.

After returning to U.C. Berkeley from summer training for the U.S. Navy, Ahmad met a homeless veteran who hadn’t eaten in three days. Ahmad was astounded by this, because just across the road, there were thousands of pounds of salvageable food thrown away by her university.

“Those who have and are wasting and those who need and are starving — and they’re both living quite literally right across the street from each other,” she told The New York Times. “That’s just ridiculous.”

So Ahmad took action. According to Copia’s website, the platform is a “food waste management system that decreases methane emission and reduces your carbon footprint.” It’s an extremely simple process: request a pickup of your surplus food, and then, a “food hero” will come pick up the food and deliver it to a nearby shelter. Then, you’ll receive profiles of the people you helped feed and the impact you made on your community!  To date, 830,000 pounds of food have been recovered, 691,000 people have been fed, and $4.6 MILLION dollars have been saved by businesses. Pretty incredible, huh?!

If you’d like to join the fight against food waste, you can read these articles and learn how to make small, but world-changing habits! If you live in California, where Copia is currently operating, you can even become a “food hero” by clicking here.

Image zource: Copia/Facebook