At Westerly Library & Wilcox Park: Books to help you reduce food waste | Guest columns


The United Nations Environment Program published a report last year revealing that food waste contributes 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. I decided to read a bit more about it and was shocked at what I found. Each year, 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the United States. That equates to 130 billion meals and over $408 billion in food thrown away every year. Nearly 30-40% of all food in America is wasted.

“Waste-free Kitchen Handbook: A Guide to Eat Well and Saving Money by Wasteing Less Food” is by Dana Gunders, scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council who led NRDC’s work on reducing the amount of food wasted across the country. The author shares tips on how to shop smarter by portioning with precision as well as how to use your refrigerator properly. She offers very simple ways for all of us to 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 Cooking” by Celine Steen. I know, you’re amazed that I’m touting a vegan cookbook! You’ll find over 100 delicious recipes, including soups, sides and salads as well as main courses and even delicious desserts that leave no unused 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 cook smart, sustainable, and impressive meals from leftover scraps of produce. , cheese crusts, stale bread and other foods that are often thrown away. “Wasted!: The History of Food Waste” is a documentary that can be ordered from another library and includes 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.

In addition to helping the environment, reducing food waste can also help your wallet. If you want to know more, come visit us at the library!

Most requested books

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

Most requested DVDs

  • 1. “Father Stu”
  • 2. “The Beatles: Come Back”
  • 3. “Morbus”
  • 4. “The Nordic”
  • 5. “The worst person in the world”
  • 6. “Everything everywhere at the same time”
  • 7. “Ambulances”
  • 8. “CODA”
  • 9. “The Contractor”
  • 10. “The unbearable weight of massive talent”

This week

MONDAY — 1:30-3:00 p.m., Senior-Friendly RI Focus Groups – Senior-Friendly RI is seeking participants for listening sessions regarding the transportation needs of residents of Westerly and surrounding South County communities. Contact James at for more information; 6-6:30 p.m., Build a Buddy – This program is sold out. Participants will build a furry friend and listen to a story.

TUESDAY — 9am-10am, Yoga in the Park with Chelsea Hauck – Join us behind the Wilcox Park pond. Participants should bring a yoga mat, towel, water bottle, and insect repellent. 1-4 p.m., 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. Prior registration is required; 4-5pm, Weekly Summer Dungeons & Dragons – Join us in Teen Space for a teen-led Dungeons & Dragons campaign! Registration is mandatory; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knitting and Crocheting Club – The Knitting and Crocheting group meets on the 2nd floor of the library.

WEDNESDAY — 9:30am-10:00am, Essentrics Stretch in the Park – Bring mat, towel and water; 10am-10.30am Summer Family Storytime – Join us in the Terrace Room for a family storytime, suitable for children from birth to 11 when accompanied by a carer; 10:00-11:00 a.m., RI Parent Support Network Information Table – Learn about the Hope Recovery CORE (Community Outreach Response Efforts) team of the Parent Support Network, a mobile outreach program that operates in the entire state of Rhode Island.

THURSDAY – 10am-11am, drop-in art class with Olean Center – This art class is free for all ages. Today we are going to make a decorative pom pom garland; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friends of the Library pop-up book sale – Every Thursday in the summer, the Friends of the Library organize a summer pop-up book sale on the library esplanade; 4-5pm, Teen Book Club – The club will discuss Firekeeper’s Daughter as well as any other books our club members read; 5:30-6:30 PM, Zumba in the Park – Enjoy a free Zumba class with Yvonne Brown and Tina Pagliusi; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – Players of all skill levels are welcome; 7-9 p.m., Flock Theater presents “Peer Gynt” – Bring your blankets or chairs to Wilcox Park and enjoy the Flock Theater’s adaptation of “Peer Gynt.” This show takes place every evening from Thursday to Sunday.

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

SATURDAY — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Take and Make Kits | 4th of July FUN – On the first Saturday of each month, grab a bag of supplies from the “Kids” bag in the children’s room. One per child, please, while supplies last; 9am-4pm, Take and Make Kits | Mini Felt Succulents – Teens in grades 7-12 are welcome to participate. Kits available for pickup in the Teen Zone while supplies last; 10:30am-11:30am, Zumba in the Park – Enjoy a free Zumba class at Wilcox Park.

Cassie Skobrak is Reference Manager at Westerly Library & Wilcox Park.


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