Take the Waste Less Food Challenge!

For most of us, the holidays involve wonderful meals around tables loaded with food.  But what happens to the leftovers? And how do we prevent having more than we can use?  The start of this holiday season, with all of its feasting and celebration, is the perfect time to take the Waste Less Food Challenge .

It is a shocking fact that American families waste about 25% of the food they buy.  That’s like bringing home four bags of groceries and putting one in the trash.  And all that food cost families a lot of money – about $130 every month. What would you rather do with that money? Maybe spend it on Christmas or Hanukkah gifts?

Throwing out good food also means wasting the natural resources used to make it. These include things like water and land.  For instance, it takes over a thousand gallons of water just to produce a single gallon of milk! Throwing away spoiled milk wastes not just milk, but water, too.

Want to waste less food at home this holiday season (and everyday)? You can save money and waste less just by making some easy changes like:

— Create a menu plan before you shop.

— Check the pantry first. Be sure to use food on hand before purchasing new.

— Include quantities needed on your shopping list.

— Have a leftovers night each week.  A quick Internet search reveals many recipes that incorporate leftovers.

— Store food in clear containers so you can see what’s in them.

Learn more about how to waste less food at home and take a look at one community’s Waste Less Food challenge packet which is full of great tips to try.

The Waste Less Food Challenge is a program of Thurston County Solid Waste (Olympia, WA). Our thanks to Thurston County Solid Waste for contributing to this article. If you live or work in Thurston County, programs about the challenge are available to community groups, as well as school classes and clubs

Photo credit: Moodboard | Thinkstock

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