Reuse, recycle, repeat.
Food waste has been a major problem for years now. There are many causes as to why food is wasted, and we aren’t just talking about spoiled food in our fridge. This problem goes further than and occurs at various levels in the food system. This includes food that doesn’t make it to stores, half-eaten meals, and food scraps from preparing meals among other things.
Not only that, when these wasted food decomposes in landfills, it produces greenhouse gases such as methane which is way worse than carbon dioxide is. We don’t want that.
Of course, this problem – just like many of the world’s many problems – can’t be resolved overnight. Let alone be fixed by one solution alone. But just like all things in life, one person can make a difference and start a change, and this applies to helping resolve and minimize our food wastes, which will inevitably lessen our carbon footprint and help our world for the better.
You can help reduce food waste in your homes by starting any of these 5 smart and environmental-friendly ways.
Get creative with your leftovers
There are many ways you can recycle or reuse your leftovers at home.
- Use your coffee grounds as an air freshener and more. Check out our article on helpful ways to reuse them.
- Egg and nut shells like pistachios and peanuts can be used as a natural fertilizer for your plants.
- Make breadcrumbs from stale bread and freeze them for soups and salads.
- Peels from citrus fruits like lemon or lime can be simmered in sugar syrup and candied.
- Turn your potato skins into crisps and eat as a healthy snack.
Everyone loves a fridge that’s full of food and drinks. However, it may be a good time to rethink the quantity of food we buy every time we go to the supermarket. Don’t overbuy. Not unless you’re feeding a lot of people every single day, only buy what you know you’ll be able to use before it expires. Keep track of what you already have so you won’t have to buy another one.
By planning ahead with the dishes you’ll cook for the week, you’ll be able to think of ways on how you can use the leftovers or the food scraps. It’s also a great way for you to be able to utilize everything with the food that you buy. For example, using every part of the vegetable for different dishes, juices, and more.
Freezing foods can help preserve them for later use and prevent them from spoiling. Many fresh fruits and vegetables keep well when frozen, extending their shelf life and reducing waste. Bread, meats, and even some cooked dishes can be preserved well in your freezer too. The same goes for preserving extra herbs that you may have in hand.
Compost your food scraps
Composting is one of the most undemanding and eco-friendly ways to recycle your food waste. What’s great about this is that you can even set up a compost bin indoors, enabling you to convert your food scraps into nutrient-rich compost that you can use for your house plants.
Most food scraps are best to use whether you’re composting indoors or outdoors. Fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, and shredded paper are good options. Don’t put meat, dairy, bones, or fish scraps into your compost.
You can also consider using worms or vermiculture even if you’re composting indoors. Worms, namely earthworms and red wigglers, can be used for composting (vermiculture). These worms feed on organic material and produce high-quality nitrogen-rich compost called castings.
If you’re interested in starting your own compost bin, you can learn more here.
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Cover image from Unsplash.