It is certainly one of our pet peeves in Israel: Friday shoppers buying bag after plastic bag chock full of food. And on the market sidelines food waste piling up, rotting. Most of this then lands up in the landfill, instead of in a compost heap (learn how to make one here) where it can be used to create fertilizer. Apparently the Environmental Protection Ministry has had their fill too. Rather than beat citizens down with angry rhetoric though, they’ve opted for the funny approach. Their new “Starting to Think Green” PR campaign comprises a series of billboard, television, and radio advertisements featuring none other than Tal Friedman.
The Jerusalem Post reports that the first advertisement depicts two women bragging about their hefty supermarket purchases. Tal Friedman then drives up in a garbage truck and suggests that they toss their bags in the back. The premise being that they’ll end up there eventually.
Overbuying or impulse buying at the supermarket accounts for 30% of 1.5 million tons of urban trash. In a ministry-led survey distributed among 510 men and women, 89% of respondents admitted that they throw away food. Another 41% claimed that they had thrown away food purchased on impulse, which they discovered at home didn’t “taste good.”
The ministry aims to arrest this travesty with their funny man ad campaign, while also demonstrating that “greener” behavior amounts to a heavier wallet. On average, the survey found, Israelis waste NIS 350 ($94) each month on food that is thrown away because of excess or poor storage.
Other ads target “heavy-footed driving.” According to the paper, stopping and starting not only uses more fuel, but also sends more emissions into the environment that steady driving.
Keeping public areas clean, and using less paper and/or recycling are also encouraged.
Making small changes in each household can lead to significant reductions not only in overall waste and energy consumption, but could save each person an average of NIS500 ($135).
For more information, contact the ministry’s website: www.greenlife.gov.il
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