From the time food is grown to the time it’s disposed of after a meal, so much waste is produced. But there are so many easy steps we can follow to reduce our food-related waste in 2019.
1. Start Composting!
I have a lot of friends who live in cities and find composting difficult. There are still plenty of things you can do to compost. There are nifty processors you can buy for your apartment that degrade the food scraps quickly into soil for your potted plants.
However, I like to take the “harder” but more minimalist route by keeping a sturdy container in my house just for food scraps. Sometimes, I even put food scraps in a plastic bag and keep them in the freezer until I know I can compost them.
You can find a home for your compost in a few ways to reduce food waste:
1. Find your buildings food & yard waste container or if you don’t have those in your state,
2. Bring it to a local community garden or central composting site.
Believe it or not, they do exist! Just explore.
2. Use vegetable trimmings for stock
Have high quality food scraps that you don’t know what to do with immediately? I’ll just toss them in a bag and store them in the freezer until I find something to do with them. I even save my orange peels for drinks (such as mulled wine) and compost the remainder later, reducing food waste.
3. Use reusable containers instead of single-use
Anyone else find themselves packaging almost all the food they own in plastic bags? The waste produced by plastic bags adds up pretty fast! Plus, the use for them is so limited! According to earthday.org, each American throws away 307 plastic bags per year, which adds up to over 100 billion plastic bags annually!
Purchasing glass storage containers are fantastic as they are great in the fridge for storage as well as reheating in a microwave! We use so many reusable containers from coffee cups to water bottles. Make the switch to long-term use containers as they’re easier to use, more cost effective and friendlier to the environment.
Recycling reduces landfill waste, conserves natural resources, and helps close the loop of using and losing natural energy sources.
5. Invest in a CSA
Don’t forget that you can also purchase a CSA for meat and dairy! Find a CSA “near me’ with this awesome tool. https://www.localharvest.org/csa/
6. Buy animals whole
Plus, there is so much you can do with that chicken to reduce food waste! You can use the bones for a broth instead of buying broth from the store! You can even reduce your meat-waste buy purchasing a whole animal through a CSA. Knowing the animal is locally raised means there is less shipping and carbon emissions involved.
7. Find local food sources
By legal standards, “local” is considered within a 400 mile radius. Buying foods from across the country, or even outside the country, contributes to carbon fuel emissions.
Typically the most locally sourced is best. Purchasing locally grown food reduces use of fossil fuels for transportation. Plus it tends to be fresher and higher in nutrients. Can’t tell if it’s local or not? How about buying straight from the source like a local, reliable farm!
8. Shop at bulk-bin stores
You can find bulk-bin stores near you with https://www.litterless.com/wheretoshop/www.litterless.com/wheretoshop/
9. Buy more whole foods
When we buy more foods in it’s whole form (such as a whole carrot as opposed to chopped carrots), we are significantly reducing food and packaging waste! How? Ever find a whole carrot in the same containers as chopped carrots? Exactly! Less processing and packaging was done to get that carrot to the store, meaning less waste!
Plus, there is so much food waste you can prevent by using other parts of the plant, such as carrot tops! Carrot tops can be used to make a pesto–saying goodbye to food waste!