At the Westerly Library & Wilcox Park: Books to Help You Reduce Food Waste | guest columns | Wender Mind Kids

The UN Environment Program released a report last year showing that food waste contributes to 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. I decided to read a bit more about it and was shocked by what I found. Every year, 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the United States. That equates to 130 billion meals and more than $408 billion in food waste each year. Almost 30 to 40% of all food in America is wasted.

“Waste-free Kitchen Handbook: A Guide to Eating Well and Saving Money by Wasting Less Less Food” is by Dana Gunders, a Natural Resources Defense Council scientist who led the NRDC’s work to reduce the amount of food waste across the country. The author gives tips on smarter shopping through correct portioning and on how to use the fridge correctly. It offers very simple ways that we can all create less waste.

Another book to check out is No-Waste Save-the-Planet Vegan Cookbook: 100 Plant-based Recipes and 100 Kitchen-tested Tips For Waste-free Meatless Cookbook by Celine Steen. I know you’re stunned that I’m announcing a vegan cookbook! You will find more than 100 delicious recipes including soups, side dishes and salads as well as main courses and even delicious desserts that leave no useless waste.

Cooking With Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, and Stems Into Delicious Meals by Lindsay-Jean Hard features 80 creative, delicious recipes for anyone who wants to make smart, sustainable, and impactful meals from unused leftovers. Cheese rinds, stale bread and other often discarded foods. Wasted!: The Story of Food Waste is a documentary available for order from another library and features interviews with Anthony Bourdain, Dan Barber, Mario Batali, and others. These chefs make the most of every type of food, turning what most people would consider leftovers into incredible dishes that create a safer food system.

Reducing food waste can not only help the environment, it can also help your wallet. If you want to learn more, visit us in the library!

Most requested books

  • 1. “The Hotel Nantucket” by Elin Hilderbrand
  • 2. “The Summer Place” by Jennifer Weiner
  • 3. “Sparring Partners” by John Grisham
  • 4. “City on Fire” by Don Winslow
  • 5. “The Paris Apartment” by Lucy Foley
  • 6. “Fly Girl” by Ann Hood
  • 7. “Book Lover” by Emily Henry
  • 8. “The 6:20 Man” by David Baldacci
  • 9. “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover
  • 10. “Find Me” by Viola Davis

The most requested DVDs

  • 1. “Father Stu”
  • 2. “The Beatles: Back”
  • 3. “Morbius”
  • 4. “The Northman”
  • 5. “Worst Man Alive”
  • 6. “Everything everywhere at once”
  • 7. “Ambulance”
  • 8. “CODA”
  • 9. “The Contractor”
  • 10. “The Unbearable Weight of a Huge Talent”

In this week

MONDAY — 1:30-3:00 p.m., Age-Friendly RI Focus Groups – Age-Friendly RI is recruiting participants for listening sessions on the transportation needs of residents in western and surrounding South County communities. Contact James at for more information; 6-6:30pm, Build a Buddy – This program is packed. Participants build a furry friend and listen to a story.

TUESDAY — 9-10 am, Yoga in the Park with Chelsea Hauck – Join us behind the pond in Wilcox Park. Participants should bring a yoga mat, towel, water bottle, and bug spray; 1-4pm, Community Resource Advocate – Our volunteer Community Resource Advocate is available via email at; 2-3:30 p.m., Virtual Tech Social – We meet on Zoom to answer your technical questions. Pre-registration is required; 4-5pm, Summer Dungeons & Dragons Weekly – Join us at Teen Space for a teen-led Dungeons & Dragons campaign! Registration is required; 5:30-7:30pm, Knit and Crochet Club – The Knit and Crochet Group meets on the 2nd floor of the library.

WEDNESDAY — 9:30-10:00 am, Essentrics Stretch in the Park – Bring a mat, bath towel and water; 10-10:30am, Summer Family Storytime – Join us in the Terrace Room for a family story hour, aimed at ages birth through 11, when accompanied by a significant other; 10-11 am, RI’s Parent Support Network Information Table – Learn about the Parent Support Network’s Hope Recovery CORE (Community Outreach Response Efforts) team, a mobile service nationwide in Rhode Island.

THURSDAY — 10-11 am, Drop-in Art Class with the Olean Center – This art class is free for all ages. Today we’re going to make a decorative pom pom garland; 10am-1pm, Friends Pop-up Book Sale – Every Thursday during the summer, the Friends of the Library host a Summer Pop-up Book Sale on the Library Promenade; 4-5pm, Teen Book Club – The club will discuss Firekeeper’s Daughter along with other books that our club members are reading; 5:30-6:30 PM, Zumba in the Park – Enjoy a free Zumba class with Yvonne Brown and Tina Pagliusi; 5:30-7:30pm, Chess Club – All levels welcome; 7-9pm, Flock Theater Presents ‘Peer Gynt’ – Bring your blankets or chairs to Wilcox Park A and enjoy the Flock Theatre’s adaptation of ‘Peer Gynt’. This show runs every night from Thursday to Sunday.

FRIDAY — 9-10am, Yoga in the Park with Michael Dotolo – Join us at Wilcox Park at the back of the pond for an all-level yoga class.

SATURDAY — 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Kits Take and Make | FUN 4TH OF JULY – On the first Saturday of every month, grab a bag of supplies from the “Kids” bag in the nursery. One per child, while supplies last; 9am-4pm, pick up kits and make | Mini Felt Succulents – Teens in grades 7-12 are invited to participate. Kits can be picked up at Teen Space while supplies last; 10:30 – 11:30 AM, Zumba in the Park – Enjoy a complimentary Zumba class at Wilcox Park.

Cassie Skobrak is Head of Unit at Westerly Library & Wilcox Park.