Did you know that between 30 and 40% of our food gets thrown away? This estimate means that an astonishing 133 billion pounds of food are wasted in the US in a year. There is a need for people to think for ideas to reduce food waste.
This sounds like a staggeringly huge problem, and it is, but there are ways you can help. There are 330 million people in the US. If everyone put in the effort to reduce their food waste, we could watch that number dwindle.
You can get started with these easy ideas to reduce your food waste!
1. Plan Before You Shop
Most people buy too much food when they go to the grocery store. They might buy things on impulse, pick up stuff because they “might” need it, or simply buy in bulk because it works out to be cheaper per item. Unfortunately, it won’t be cheaper if you throw half of it away and, unless you’re going to use it, you really shouldn’t buy it.
To that end, make a plan for what you’ll eat over the next few days. Make a list of items you’ll need to complete that plan. When you head to the store, stick to that list and try to ignore the fact that the Oreos are on sale…
2. Use All Your Food
Before heading to the store, make sure you really need to go. Use up all the perishables you bought last time before going out to buy more. Challenge yourself to come up with ways to use up items you have on hand.
As you get better about planning your shopping trips, this will become less of a problem. You’ll have everything you need to create the recipes you planned.
3. Organize Your Fridge
How many times have you forgotten about a head of lettuce and discovered a sludgy brown mess in the back of your produce drawer? This usually happens because everything is crammed haphazardly into your fridge and you can’t see stuff well.
To avoid this, clean out and organize your refrigerator. Plus, always make sure to put newer food behind older food to help ensure the older one gets used up first.
4. Learn to Love Leftovers
Leftovers sometimes get a bad rap because some people don’t like reheating food. But we’re here to tell you that leftovers are amazing! If you’re the one responsible for cooking in your house, you probably already really appreciate leftovers.
The trouble is, they can often get forgotten in the fridge. Store your leftovers in clear containers (as opposed to opaque) so you can see them and will be more likely to eat them. If you often have leftovers, designate one leftover day each week to use up all the random bits in your fridge.
Doing Your Part
We’ve just barely scratched the surface of all you can do to help cut down on food waste. You can also get friendly with your freezer, appropriately plan your portion sizes, make compost and use food scraps to fertilize your garden, and so much more! Hope these ideas to reduce your food waste help you and your community achieve environmental goals.
For more great tips and tricks, check out more news and updates on sustainability and home life!