Recycled Crates Yield a Cornucopia of Thanksgiving Goodies

This Thanksgiving, some Detroit residents may find vegetables on their plates from community gardens in the city.

Families across the U.S. will come together tomorrow to spend time with loved ones, give thanks and, of course, eat delicious food. Squash, potatoes (sweet and mashed), corn, turnips, green beans and other staple holiday dishes will crowd dinner tables in plenty on Thanksgiving.

For Detroit residents, some of those veggies may very well have grown from GM’s waste reduction efforts – literally.

We have reused more than 800 shipping crates from our manufacturing facilities to serve as raised beds for community gardens across Detroit. It’s just one of several creative reuse projects GM has undertaken in our commitment to reduce waste from our facilities while benefitting the communities in which we operate.

With fall harvest completed, we’re happy to report our urban garden initiatives yielded a bountiful horn-of-plenty for the Thanksgiving feast.

Cadillac Urban Gardens harvested more than 2,400 vegetable and herb plants in 2013. The 250 crates GM donated helped grow Thanksgiving favorites like squash, corn and green beans. Auto supplier Ideal Group and the nonprofit Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision, GM’s partners who helped bring Cadillac Urban Gardens to life last year, planted 3,000 pounds of potatoes this year with the help of volunteers. The potatoes were distributed to neighborhood residents.

Nonprofit farming initiative Buckets of Rain harvested nearly 50,000 pounds of vegetables in the 460 crates GM donated. The crops help supply five Detroit soup kitchens that provide meals to hundreds of underprivileged community members. Buckets of Rain also gave out 770 bags of the vegetables they grew over the course of the year during their “Free Farmers Market Wednesdays.”

With the collaboration of great partners who help grow these community gardens, the hard work of community volunteers who sustain them and the ingenuity of our environmental engineers who continually rethink ways to reuse waste, we sure have a lot to be thankful for this year.

What are you thankful for?

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