Let’s face it – most Americans have a tendency to be extremely wasteful when it comes to food. From making portions so big that most ultimately gets thrown out, to buying more food than we need, only for it to go rotten, we have some habits that we’re not proud of.
So, this year, let’s all do our part in reducing the amount of food that goes to waste. Food waste may not seem like a major environmental issue on the surface, but in fact, it is responsible for disrupting our ecosystem. That’s because the production and transportation of food is, as we know, very taxing on the environment. The more food that gets wasted, the more food must be produced, and thus begins an unsustainable cycle.
As you will see, it’s the small differences that we make in our food consumption habits that can make a big impact on our planet, if we all take the proper steps together.
Tip #1: Get Composting
One of the most valuable ways that you can eliminate food waste is to compost. Composting is the process of accumulating most kinds of food scraps (green material), along with wood products like paper and woodchips (brown material), and then allowing them to naturally break down in a contained environment. What this does is turn what would have been waste into compost, which is nutrient-dense soil enricher that can help supply the earth with more nutrients to support healthy plant life.
Composting isn’t nearly as complex or intimidating as it sounds, nor costly, and can be done on just about any scale depending on the size of your property. It’s the most sustainable way to avoid waste, as it actually gives back to the earth.
Tip #2: Make a Food List in Advance
Part of minimizing waste starts with how we consume food in the first place. Many of us buy far more food than we will reasonably consume before it goes bad. This habit can be the result of walking into a food store blind, and grabbing everything that looks appealing, with no real plan on how to use it all within the week.
Alternatively, you could plan out for meals in advance, and make a food list for each week that only contains items that you and your family will have time to eat before they’re no longer viable. This way, you’re a lot less likely to overbuy, and of course, the other bonus of doing things this way is that you’ll save money.
Tip #3: Get Creative in the Kitchen with Leftovers
We’ve all found ourselves tossing that pack of herbs that we only used a tiny bit of, or throwing out leftovers that don’t suit what it is that we’re craving that day. Maybe it’s time to come up with more creative repurposing techniques to food that’s just been sitting in our fridge.
Part of this means learning that just because food no longer looks its best doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s bad by any means. For instance, bruised tomatoes and browning avocados are often perfectly viable, aside from some cosmetic issues.
This also means coming up with recipes that utilize leftovers as efficiently as possible. We love making frittatas, which give us an excuse to put a whole bunch of vegetables and herbs into one delicious and nutritious dish.
Tip #4: Be More Giving
Another thing that we should all start prioritizing is giving our food to others. If we have an abundance of food that we’re not going to use, we can avoid waste and help someone else by offering it to a neighbor or loved one. This can apply to both ingredients and leftovers of dishes that we’ve already had.
Tip #5: Use Better Food Storage Techniques
Finally, we can also make an effort to learn longer-lasting food storage methods. For example, a lot of food items can be frozen aside from meats – we just need to create a better airtight seal to avoid freezer burn. There are also methods for freezing herbs, by placing them, chopped, in an ice cube tray with olive oil.
Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to find more advanced types of storage containers, as well. There are vacuum-sealed storage containers which are able to preserve leftovers and ingredients for far, far longer than your standard Tupperware. Explore these options, to avoid having to throw out unused food as frequently.
When You Absolutely Have to Waste Food
The reality is that sometimes, there’s nothing we can do but throw something out. Once food is no longer safe to eat, then it’s time to put it in the garbage. But, we can still be environmentally conscious when throwing out food as well. For instance, if you have a garbage disposal in your sink, you can use environmentally friendly, nontoxic garbage disposal cleaner pods to keep that disposal fresh. And, you can find more environmentally friendly trash bags that minimize waste each time you take out the garbage.
These Tips are Perfect for Reducing Food Waste at Home
At the end of the day, none of us can ever be perfect when it comes to avoiding waste. And, to an extent, there’s only so much that we can do to minimize the impact that our current food chain has on our environment. But, the key is finding the small steps that you can take, and making them a habit. If everyone does a little more to cut down waste, we’re benefiting the planet, and supporting a more food-accessible society.At Grab Green Home, we’re committed to creating a more environmentally conscious world. Our EPA-approved household products allow you to keep your home clean and sanitary without relying on harsh chemicals that damage our soil, water sources, and health. By using our products, along with the tips that we’ve listed today, you can really make a difference.