How many times have you found yourself throwing away half the food in your fridge at the end of each week because it spoiled? Many people struggle with knowing how much food to buy and how to keep food fresh for more than a few days. Food waste not only affects your wallet, but it can also take a toll on the environment. If food is simply thrown away, it rots in the landfill and produces methane, “a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.” However, tips such as planning out meals and finding innovative ways to use overripe produce can greatly reduce the amount of food you throw away each week.
Loosely planning out meals or meal prepping is a great way to prevent overbuying. This way, you know exactly how you’re going to use each item that you’ve purchased. If you’re short on time during the week, certain meal delivery services can deliver pre-portioned ingredients for recipes straight to your door. Additionally, produce box deliveries, such as Imperfect Foods, do their part to prevent slightly bruised pieces of produce from entering the landfill.
The way food is stored can greatly affect its freshness. Additionally, overpacking a fridge won’t give your produce enough room to breathe. We recommend using organic cotton mesh produce bags to store unwrapped produce to maintain some moisture yet allow air to flow.
For other perishable items stored in the fridge such as yogurt, milk, and bread, organize your fridge in a way that places the items that are to expire soon at the front of your fridge. This way, you know to use older products first before they spoil. In general, keeping an organized fridge that isn’t too crowded prevents you from forgetting about certain items and throwing them away.
Most food can last weeks and even months in the freezer! Going out of town for a few days with fresh food still sitting in the fridge? Cut up fruit and vegetables, place them in a reusable silicone bag, and place them in the freezer to use in smoothies!
If you tend to buy fresh loaves of bread, take half of the loaf and cut it into slices. Freeze the pre-cut slices in a reusable silicone bag so you don’t have to worry about the whole loaf going stale before you can finish it.
Before composting food scraps, look for ways to ‘upcycle’ the parts of produce you normally don’t eat, including vegetable skins, stalks, and cores! Did you know that food scraps like onion skins can be used to create a homemade veggie broth? Or that old coffee grounds can be made into an exfoliating body scrub? For more inspiration on how to use food scraps, visit our TikTok!
Loosely planning meals for the week, storing food properly, utilizing your freezer and getting creative with food scraps are four easy ways to stop food from entering the landfill. Reducing your food waste seems daunting, but remember to aim for progress during your journey, rather than a perfectly waste free life. We challenge you to think outside the box and find ways to make the most out of your food.