Environmental Impact

Our mission is to protect and improve the local environmental resources of Montgomery Environmental Impacts Working GroupCounty related to agriculture and food.

Focus issues include:

  • Monitoring progress and implementation of the County Food Waste Composting and Compost Use Strategic Plan.
    • Increase regional food waste composting capacity
    • Support the establishment of community composting education sites and composting-related educational programs
  • Reduced food waste in Montgomery County
  • Increased awareness of the benefits of plant-based diets
  • Increased local, sustainable procurement in public and private institutions

Support composting through:

-The implementation of the County Food Waste Composting and Compost Use Strategic Plan. Having collaborated with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) on the development of the Strategic Plan in 2017, we will now focus on supporting the implementation of the Plan.

-Convening current providers of residential and municipal composting services and programs to promote regulatory and legislative opportunities for composting facilities of various scale within Montgomery County. Our Working Group serves as a central connection point for County leaders, organizations, and other stakeholders interested in advancing composting efforts. In April 2019, we hosted a tour of the Prince Georges County Organics Composting Facility for more than 20 of these stakeholders; read about the tour here, courtesy of the Montgomery County Civic Federation.

-In 2019, the Food Council worked with Koiner Farm to establish the County’s first Community Composting Education Hub. In 2020, we plan to work with community partners to establish similar Hubs throughout the County. This will serve to increase awareness about the opportunities for and benefits of composting amongst County residents, and encourage expanded food waste reduction efforts on a community scale.

-For a list of Composting FAQ, click here.

Reducing wasted food – EIWG members are researching and helping to establish appropriate strategies to address the reduction of wasted food in the County, such as participating in gleaning projects with Community Food Rescue, and working with local farms and the Office of Agricultural Services. Our Working Group hosted a gleaning of sweet potato greens at Red Wiggler Farm in August 2018, in collaboration with the Montgomery County Master Gardeners.

Educating about a healthy plant based diet – The Environmental Impact Working Group shares and promotes resources and information pertaining to the nutritional and environmental benefits of eating a whole foods-focused, plant forward diet. According to Project Drawdown, plant-rich diets can reduce carbon emissions while also providing a myriad of health benefits, leading to lower rates of chronic disease. Global carbon emissions could be reduced by “as much as 70 percent through adopting a vegan diet [and] $1 trillion in annual health-care costs and lost productivity would be saved” (Project Drawdown, 2019).
In 2019, we launched a Plant Forward Cooking blog series to share recipes and cooking tips using hyper-local, seasonal produce. Check out our latest blog post, and join us for an Environmental Impact Working Group meeting if you are interested in learning about this project, and getting involved!