by Eli Robinson, a junior at Corvallis High School
YouCAN (Youth Climate Action Now) Corvallis is a youth-led environmental action group in Corvallis, Oregon. Propelled by the existential threat that is climate change, YouCAN strives to create change on a local level. Right now YouCAN is working to pass the “Corvallis Loves Food, Not Waste!” initiative to require businesses to compost and recycle using pre-existing infrastructure in Corvallis. While the option for businesses to compost and recycle already exists, it is critically underused and most food waste goes into the landfill where it generates methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas. This initiative also supports Oregon’s Climate Action Plan, which set a goal of cutting food waste in half by 2030. YouCAN realizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected our local economy, particularly small businesses. The policy will likely take effect in 2022, and phased implementation will give smaller businesses more time to prepare. Ultimately, the pandemic has revealed weak spots in our food supply chain that could have benefitted from a comprehensive food waste reduction and diversion program. Moving forward, the Corvallis Loves Food, Not Waste! initiative will build a more sustainable system.
In Order to reach our goal we need community support. Please consider signing our petition and emailing words of your support to Corvallis city council and mayor at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can find a sample email here. More information and a copy of our ordinance can be found at https://youcancorvallis.org/