Reduce Food Waste
Everyone wants to reduce the amount of food wasted in the kitchen, but what are the best ways to do that? Here are five incredibly easy ways to reduce food waste for a greener kitchen this Earth Day.
1. Buy what you need and eat what you buy
Before you go grocery shopping, plan ahead and make a list. Think about what you really need and stick with it. Use the foods that spoil first and remember what you bought so you don’t end up with spoiled surprises.
2. Store food properly to keep it fresh
Learn how to store lettuce, berries and other perishables properly and understand shelf life limitations, so you can keep your food fresh as long as possible.
3. Skip the trashcan
If you’re worried you won’t use food before it spoils, share it with neighbors, friends or coworkers or bring a dish to the office or a potluck dinner to help make use of the extras. If you absolutely can’t use it, compost your inedible items to make soil conditioner for your garden.
4. Use the roots
Place the roots of green onions in a glass jar with a little bit of water – just enough to submerge the root tips. Change the water every few days to keep it clean. Within a week, you will have a full batch of green onions ready for cutting and eating again. This method also works with celery!
5. Make stock
Instead of tossing them, save the leftover ends from celery, onion, carrots, garlic and other vegetables in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer. The next time you roast a chicken, use the carcass and your leftover vegetables to make homemade Slow Cooker Chicken Stock.
Reduce & Reuse Packaging Waste
Sometimes food and drink packing seems to pile up in as much abundance as the food itself. Consider one of these creative ways to utilize extra things you may have lying around before they end up in the trash bin.
- Make a tea tin herb garden.
- Because cardboard egg cartons are biodegradable, they make a perfect seed starter to help you germinate seeds for your garden, and you won’t have to buy the plastic seed starters from the lawn and garden store.
- Cover tin cans (without sharp edges) that used to contain soup, beans or tomatoes with pretty fabric, paint or twine and use them to house colored pencils, picnic utensils, pretty flowers, paintbrushes, herbs or succulent plantings.
- Use reusable bags when you do your shopping. Keep them in your car, so they will always be accessible when you find yourself at a grocery store, farmers market or retail store.
- Instead of buying bottled water which creates extra plastic bottle waste, make sure each family member has a reusable water bottle to take with them on the go. This not only saves waste, it saves money.