If you’re on your low waste journey you’re no doubt aware of the environmental impact of food waste. The water and power supply needed to grow, produce and process food and the harmful gases released from wasted food rotting in landfill, to name a few. So much food goes to waste. And there are super easy ways to reduce this in your home.
Reducing food waste goes beyond having a compost system or worms or animals to feed your scraps. Although these are fantastic and definitely simple to have (composting at least), and an ideal way to deal with food scraps. It’s about examining how and why food gets wasted in your household. It can be hard when time poor to remember what you have and what you need etc. Here are five easy ways we reduce waste in our home.
- Meal plan
This is such a great way to not only reduce food waste but also to save money, as well as be more organised. What’s not to love! If you plan your week/fortnight etc out before you hit the shops or markets and only buy what you need, you’ll have none of those rotting veggies at the back of the fridge.
- Sort your fridge, freezer and pantry often
Know what you have. Food items can have a knack for hiding themselves at the back of shelves and drawers, in my house anyway. By going through your fridge, freezer and pantry often you’ll see what you have and not buy any unnecessary extra. You can also see what needs to be used soon and can therefore menu plan accordingly.
- Store your food well
If you want your fresh food to last longer, you need to store it properly. There are many hacks to keeping veggies crisp for longer and even bringing some back to life! There are also a range of options for storage, including many that are plastic free. It’s also best to store fresh food properly as soon as you bring it home to get the best life out of it, instead of putting it in the fridge for a few days first.
- Freeze unused food items into usable portions
You can freeze all kinds of food items. When I open a new tomato paste jar, I put the rest into an ice cube tray to freeze and then have around 50g portions whenever I need them. No more half jars going manky in the fridge. If bananas are starting to look past their best, I break them up and freeze them, ready to use in baking or smoothies.
- Compost scraps and/or feed them to worms or chickens
Then of course comes the food scraps that don’t get eaten. Rather than throwing these into landfill, try a composting system. There are so many available now, even for the smallest amounts. You can compost all sorts of things as well. You’ll create nutrient rich fertiliser for your garden and not contribute to harmful gas emissions. Worm farms are great for this too, although I have to say my worms are fussy! And chickens – well, I can’t wait until I have room for those.
I see reducing food waste in your home as a circular system of planning what you need, knowing what you have and coming up with sustainable solutions for anything left over.
It’s super easy once you get started!
Small switches can lead to big changes.