Local Food and Local Waste

Community Development Agency

Why Food Waste?

Much of the food we grow is never eaten and instead is put in the landfill where it generates greenhouse gas emissions, which cause climate change. Buying only what you need and composting (if you’re able) what you can’t use can help reduce this waste. Additionally, folks that are able to, should buy from local producers that grow food in a way that restores ecosystems instead of depletes them. That food also travels shorter distances from farm to your table, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving local air quality.

What Can You Do?

Reduce Food Waste

Whether eating everything in your refrigerator, donating excess food, composting, or taking advantage of local food donation programs, you can help reduce food waste. Buy only what you can reasonably use and compost what you don’t. Local food donation programs are important links in the chain to prevent food waste. The more you participate, the more food finds a helpful rather than harmful destiny.

For more information on local food donation programs, visit the Multicultural Center of Marin’s webpage. For more information on composting, visit Zero Waste Marin Composting Info and UC Marin Master Gardeners composting resources.

Buy Food From Local Producers and Farmers When Possible and If You're Able

Buying local food means it traveled less distance to your plate reducing vehicle related greenhouse gas emissions. It also increases the financial security of local farmers by creating a consistent market for their products. Everyone can buy local food, including those receiving CalFresh benefits. To learn more, visit Grown In Marin, Marin County Farmers Markets, and CalFresh Market Match.

Eat a Plant-Rich Diet and Meat From Sustainable Ranches

When you compare the carbon footprint of animal versus plant-based foods, eating plant-based foods is one way to dramatically reduce your carbon footprint well beyond Marin County. If you do eat meat and can afford to purchase local and/or organic meat, you can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of your diet. Visit the Marin Carbon Project to learn more about ranches that raise animals in a sustainable way.

What is the County Doing?

Marin Food Policy Council

Marin Food Policy Council (MFPC) addresses food production, access, distribution, and nutritional health in Marin and develops targeted policies and practical solutions based on a systems approach to solving food access issues.

Zero Waste Marin

Zero Waste Marin is comprised of representatives from all over Marin County. Zero Waste Marin adopted a zero waste by 2025 goal and helps residents and businesses reduce waste by hosting trainings about how you can increase compost at home and at work.

Marin's Community Gardens

Community gardens in Marin are sources of both community engagement and local food. With more than 120 gardens in neighborhoods, schools, connected to institutions such as hospitals, and on residential housing grounds, Marin residents have access and opportunity to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Read more about some examples of Marin's community gardens in A Garden for Everyone.