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(article, Caroline Cummins)
April 22, as many folks know, is Earth Day. It's a day to pick up litter, sign environmental petitions, dispose properly of hazardous waste, and generally treat the planet a little better. Since 2007, it's also been Low Carbon Diet Day, at least around the Bon Appétit Catering company, which provides food service to more than 400 corporate and collegiate restaurants around the country. The low-carbon concept — aimed at reducing the company's use of greenhouse gases — is actually a long-term plan, not just a day's activities. Bon Appétit aims to: # Bring the issue of food’s impact on climate change to national prominence # Source nearly all of our fruits, vegetables, meats, and water from North America # Provide science-based educational materials so our guests can make “lower carbon” food choices # Reduce food waste and innovate creative options for used frying oil, compostable vegetable matter, and biopolymer to-go packages where appropriate, and # Audit the energy efficiency of our kitchen equipment. If you want to assess your own carbon output, check out an online carbon calculator, which will help you calculate your household's carbon-dioxide emissions.