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Food & Agriculture

Here’s the deal

The way we grow our food, what we eat, and what happens to excess and waste are all essential parts of our carbon footprint. To cut carbon substantially, we need to grow food in ways that benefit the land, sequester carbon, foster plant-rich diets, reduce food waste, and increase composting. In Georgia, the estimated food waste in 2017 was 2.05 million tons, and it is estimated that, on average, each ton of food waste reduced would decrease CO2-e emissions from 4 to 1.35 tons. If we reduce our food waste by 20% by 2030, we will decrease CO2e emissions by 1.8 Megatons per year.


How do we get there?



When food waste and other organic materials decompose in landfills, methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is released. When we compost these materials instead, the organic matter is broken down by microbes into nutrient-rich, carbon-sequestering fertilizer.



Conservation agriculture relies on practices like crop rotation, cover cropping, and reduced tillage to benefit the land and sequester carbon in the plants and soil.



A diet rich in plant-based foods reduces emissions associated with meat production. This solution assumes people maintain a 2,500 calorie per day nutritional regimen; meet daily protein requirements; and purchase locally produced food when available.

Reduced Food


Food waste happens all along the journey from the farm to your plate, and continues when we purchase more food than we consume. It is estimated that over 2 million tons of food is wasted in Georgia every year.

How do we get there?

Here’s where we are

According to Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division, about 800,000 tons of food residuals are sent to Georgia’s landfills each year. About 48% of the food residuals come from the greater Atlanta area. Reducing the food waste that ends up in Georgia’s landfills, through composting and other means, is an important part of Georgia’s carbon reduction opportunity.

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Here’s where we are

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Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to food waste in Georgia?

Each year, 12 percent of the garbage produced in the state consists of food scraps and other wasted food, weighing in at over 800,000 tons. Nearly half of this food waste comes out of the greater Atlanta area.

Is conservation agriculture something that farmers believe in?

In 2017, Georgia had about 1.5 million hectares of cropland and the majority of the cropland is distributed in the southern region. About 0.75 million hectares are currently under conservation agriculture - so, yes!

Tell me something about our composting programs in Georgia.

There are 38 composting facilities of varying sizes located in the state.

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