Food waste makes up a staggering amount of the trash in our landfills. It’s easy to assume that since it’s food, it would simply decompose in a landfill. But the lack of oxygen in trash bags and landfills actually prevents microorganisms from carrying out the decomposition process. Thus, the food waste in landfills sits there for a very long time.
But there are many things we can do to lessen the amount of food waste we produce. We can reuse certain items, become more mindful of how much we purchase and consume everything we make. Here are 8 impactful ways to reduce food waste at home and on the go:
When I take the time to write out my meals for the week along with a detailed grocery list, I not only save money, but I only buy what I need. It also helps me plan out what items will serve a dual function through the week to make sure everything I buy gets used up.
Keep Inventory of Your Fridge + Freezer Items
Out of sight, out of mind. It can be really easy to forget what’s your fridge and freezer. Especially the drawers. Keeping an inventory of what’s in your fridge can be helpful with preventing food waste and saving money. Before I write my grocery list for the week I check and see if there are things in there that can be used up.
Eat Leftovers or Freeze Them
Saving leftovers is a good first step in avoiding food waste, but you making sure you consume them is an important second step. If you aren’t able to eat them right away you might consider freezing them!
But it’s important to remember that just because it’s in the freezer doesn’t mean it can be stored indefinitely! Freezer items should be used within 6 months.
Save Veggie Scraps
Keep a container or jar filled with veggie scraps and once it’s full you can use it to make broth/stock. Once I have about 2-4 cups of veggie scraps I bring them to a boil with 8 cups of water and spices and let it simmer on low for hours. The result is a delightfully flavorful veggie stock! Once you’ve used the scraps you can either compost them, or if you must throw them in the trash at least the volume has been greatly reduced.
Save Citrus Peels
Save your citrus peels for making your own infused cleaning vinegars or you can dice them and dry them out for using in tea!
This one takes some planning and practice. I have yet to start composting due to our current living quarter, but once we move into our house I will be composting in our backyard. This is one of the best way to cut down on food waste and create a circular system as you are able to return the nutrients to the earth!
Take Home Leftovers
If you eat a meal out and have leftovers, please take them home! Even if its the smallest amount, and even if its just french fries (they make great next day breakfast potatoes).
We’ve all had that “eyes bigger than our stomachs” moment. But doing our best to not over order at restaurants can help prevent food waste. If you’re familiar with the portion sizes at a restaurant, plan ahead and maybe split an entree with someone or plan to take the leftovers home.
Together we can lessen the amount of food in landfills be being conscious consumers and making sustainable choices. What do you already do to prevent food waste? What sustainable opportunities exist for you?
Do you enjoy sustainability content? Let me know in the comments or contact me!
Thank you so much for reading, friend!