Waste not, want not

July 20, 2021

As we work together to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as possible, it’s important to reduce the amount of food we waste. According to ReFED, food waste makes up roughly 22% of all landfill volume, making it the single largest category of municipal solid waste in America! With an average national recycling rate of just 5.3%, the EPA found that wasted food is also one of the least recycled waste streams.

Here are a few tips to help reduce food waste in our homes and keep it out of landfills:

• Store food properly. Do you know which fruits go in the refrigerator and which can last on the counter? Are your onions and potatoes stored separately from each other? How you store your food affects how long it lasts, so you want to make sure produce is stored correctly to help extend its life. To learn how to best store any type of food, visit Save The Food and select the food category you want to learn more about.
• Jazz up your meal prep. Are you tired of making and eating the same meals? Shop your pantry, fridge, and freezer for items that have been pushed to the back and forgotten, and then search for new recipes to match what you have on hand. Simply search online for the ingredients plus “recipe,” and you may find a new family favorite.
 Incorporate your scraps. Using up all of the food you have stretches your grocery shopping dollars and reduces your food waste. Search online for “cooking with scraps” for creative recipes that use up all of the food you buy, including the scraps and peels.
• Be sure to compost. Sometimes, we don’t eat food fast enough. Compost your fruit and vegetable scraps in a backyard compost bin or pile instead of tossing it.

Photo credit: Gonzalo Calle Asprilla | iStock | Getty Images Plus