4 Easy Ideas to Reduce Your Food Waste

Ideas to Reduce Your Food Waste

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!

3 Solar Gadgets That Will Make Your Life Easier

Solar Gadgets

Solar power is more accessible than ever, without the need for installing huge, expensive panels. Lots of gadgets now have solar panels built into them so you can charge them when you’re out and about (and away from power outlets), save on electricity bills, and enjoy using a sustainable energy source. Plus, they’re a life-saver when the power goes down or in the event of a natural disaster.

They’re also a great way to simplify your life. Everyone in the family from kids to seniors can benefit from having solar gadgets on hand.

Read on for our top three solar-powered gadgets that can simplify your life.

1. ABFOCE Solar Bluetooth Speaker

Whether you’re camping, spending a day at the beach, or just enjoying your backyard, a solar Bluetooth speaker helps you keep the music going no matter what. ABFOCE’s Bluetooth speaker comes with a built-in solar panel that gathers enough juice in 10 minutes to provide a half hour of playtime. Another cool feature is that it also functions as a battery bank you can use to power up your phone or other mobile devices.

2. Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight

A good flashlight is a must for your home, but it’s useless if it isn’t powered up or you don’t have batteries for it. A solar-powered flashlight, such as the Goal Zero Torch 250 Flashlight, is a good way to make sure you have a flashlight that is ready to go when you need it. When fully charged, it can run for 48 hours, and it has three modes to choose from: flashlight, floodlight, or red light for emergencies. Like the Bluetooth speaker, this gadget also doubles as a battery that can charge up a smartphone—just use the built-in USB plug.

3. Lattis Ellipse Keyless Smart Solar Bike Lock

Bike riders of all ages will love this solar-powered bike lock made by Lattis. It stops thieves from stealing your bike by sending an alert to your smartphone through Bluetooth when someone attempts to tamper with the lock. Plus, it’s a breeze to unlock it. You simply hold your smartphone near it and it opens automatically. You can also use a touchpad to enter your personal code.

Key Takeaway

Solar-powered gadgets are here and they are easy to use for the entire family and offer a ton of money-saving and environmentally friendly benefits.

Related Reading: Solar Panels: Great for you pocket and the environment

6 Ways to Make Your Coffee Habit More Sustainable

Make Your Coffee Habit More Sustainable

Coffee is the second most sought after commodity in the world. There is no denying that coffee has a large impact on the environment. Unfortunately, that impact is mostly negative. Many factors involved in coffee consumption and production are harmful to our planet. However, this does not mean that we have to give up our daily coffee. Instead, we can become more mindful and make small adjustments to make our coffee habit more sustainable.

1. Coffee beans

Buying coffee beans is the first step you can change to make your coffee habit more sustainable. The choice you make when selecting coffee beans can make the most significant contribution to your sustainability efforts. This will not only influence what type of coffee production you support, but also the social and economic effect on the coffee producers. Therefore, you should pay attention to labels that are Fairtrade or organic. By opting for Fairtrade coffee, you can support coffee farmers around the world and help protect the environment. You should also buy your coffee beans locally to reduce negative environmental effects of transportation.

2. Use more sustainable preparation methods

There are a lot of different methods and appliances to prepare your coffee. However, some of these appliances create an incredible amount of waste. Pod-machines, such as Nespresso, consume a lot of energy and produce waste that often cannot be recycled. More sustainable alternatives include drip coffee makers, the French press or aero press. If you prefer filter coffee, you should use reusable filters that are made out of metal or cloth. This will prevent additional waste from paper filters.

3. Buy a reusable coffee cup

Many coffee shops sell coffee in single-use plastic cups. These cups are not very environmentally friendly as they are often not recycled properly. If you are prone to buying takeaway coffees, you should bring your own refillable cup or flask. Coffee shops usually offer incentives for customers who do this and you may even get a discount on your coffee. However, if a disposable cup is unavoidable, you can use a 100% compostable coffee cup.

4. Reuse coffee grounds

Reusing coffee grounds does not necessarily mean putting them back into your coffee machine. To get as much use as possible out of your purchase, you can use the grounds for other benefits. Coffee grounds can act as a skin exfoliator, plant fertilizer and deodorizers for your fridge.

5. Milk and sugar dispensers

In order to avoid additional waste, you can use glass dispensers for your sugar. Single packaged coffee creamer and sugar creates a lot of harmful waste in the environment. By switching to glass containers, you not only reduce waste but you can also recycle them once you are finished with them.

6. Dispose of coffee grounds in compost bins

Approximately 6 million tonnes of coffee grounds get sent to landfills every year. To prevent coffee ground build up, you should use a compost bin to dispose of your grounds. These must be composted for around 100 days before you can use them as fertilizer. 

Related Reading: Coffee Brewing Method and Health – What You Need to Know