Ketchup Counts!

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement
Eagle Bluff is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) residential environmental learning center located in southeastern Minnesota. We envision healthy sustainable communities that value the natural world and are dedicated to fostering environmental awareness, and promoting respect and personal responsibility.

Submission Information

Impact Essay
“Yes! Ketchup DOES count!” When it comes to wasted food, every ounce of condiment, crumbs, and crusts adds up. Most often, this food makes its way to the landfill where it will be unable to decompose. This practice is no longer in place at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center thanks to our Food Waste Reduction Initiative. The goal of the on-site food waste initiative is to eliminate cafeteria food waste through sound educational, sustainable, and transferable ecological practices. The program accomplishes this goal three ways: 1. Serving meals with little to no packaging on reusable dinnerware. 2. Educating students about their food choices and offering incentives for food waste reduction efforts. 3. Composting food waste that is produced. Each group staying at Eagle Bluff is introduced to the program, which includes a presentation on the impact of food waste and a goal for food waste during their stay. This goal is based on 5% of the group's size. For example, a group of 100 is given a cap of 5 pounds of food waste per meal. Groups are given their own food waste cart in order to collect food they don't eat and their waste is weighed and recorded at each meal. If a school remains under its goal, they earn a spot on our coveted Golden Clean Plate Award. Wasted food is composted and utilized in our gardens. Since its initiation, the Food Waste Reduction Initiative has reduced Eagle Bluff’s cafeteria waste by 75%. During one recent afternoon meal, the student monitor at the food waste cart stood tall behind a flipped food scrap collection bin refusing to let anyone waste even a crumb. To the shock of one young girl, she was told, with a waving spatula for emphasis, that “Yes! Ketchup counts!” The eyes of nearby staff members lit up. A slogan had been born and with it a marketing campaign. The use of Adobe products has allowed us to create a logo for the program that will be utilized in many ways. T-shirts and stickers featuring the logo will be sold in the gift shop, thus reminding individuals to minimize their food waste. Posters about the campaign will be put up around our campus and those of participating schools to encourage people to be advocates of the practices they learned at Eagle Bluff. Also, accomplishment awards will be given to those schools that successfully wasted little to no food during their stay at Eagle Bluff. The small seed of an idea for a marketing campaign was able to grow to great heights, thanks to Adobe software. Quality ideas alone don’t encourage people to wear t-shirts or put up posters. Good design made with good technology is essential. All aspects of the Food Waste Reduction Initiative have been and will continue to be created with Adobe software, thus enabling our vision of minimizing food waste through personal responsibility to reach unexpected levels of success.
Submission Category
Environmental Impact Print/Photo