David Saldaña spends his mornings driving around the Harbor area of Los Angeles, scouting out local businesses. When the 28-year-old spots one, he’ll walk in, give them his business card with FoodCycle LA, and ask them to donate food to local pantries — not stuff that’s fresh off the shelf, but the stuff that’s past the sell-by date and destined for the dumpster even though it’s perfectly edible. He’s one of the first members of the California Climate Action Corps, a program that’s taking on climate change by planting trees, protecting homes from wildfires, and rescuing food waste across the state. “We fight food waste by getting it into the mouths of hungry people instead of going to landfills,” where it rots and emits methane, Saldaña said. He grew up in Compton, California, and has seen California’s wildfire season, typically confined to the summer and fall, become all year-long . Saldaña saved up money to attend California State University, Dominguez Hills, where he studied dendrochronology — using tree rings to see the past — and hopes to return one day to get a PhD. The corps presented the perfect opportunity to do something hands-on about the climate crisis. “There’s […]


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