Food waste is a major issue when it comes to sustainability. Not only is it wasteful of our environmental resources, but it’s also a waste of money for you. I’ve noticed that as I became more aware and cut down on our food waste, I’ve also managed to save money.
Step 1: Meal Plan (weekly, monthly or daily.)
Reducing food waste starts by ensuring that you have a plan for everything that you’re purchasing. Whether you’re someone who hates grocery shopping and plans a week at a time (that’s me!) or you’re someone who likes to make a trip everyday. It really helps to know in advance what you’re shopping for.
So yes, make a list!
As someone who has anxiety about the smallest and weirdest things, meal planning really helps make me feel more in control of my life.
Step 2: Store Your Food Correctly, as soon as you get home.
No one is perfect and I will be the last to say I’ve never wasted food simply because I didn’t store it correctly. So now as soon as I get home from the grocery store, I include storage as part of the trip.
This means that vegetables are prepared for optimal preservation. Anything we don’t plan to consume for 3+ days will be stored in the freezer until we need it.
Psst! While you’re looking at reducing food waste, you might be interested in learning these recycling mistakes.
Step 3: Save vegetable scraps in your freezer to make your own vegetable stock.
Sarah Robertson-Barnes from Sustainable in the Suburbs has a great post on how you can use your veggie scraps to make compost soup.
Step 4: Compost
Depending on your situation, this might be the most complicated part of all the steps.
We have curbside compost pick up every week. I acknowledge that I am very lucky where I live. However, I know many cities don’t offer the same service and therefore you might have to get creative.
Here are some options:
Build a backyard compost
If you have the space, you can try out the traditional compost method. To avoid compost stench, ensure that you’re putting enough paper, cardboard and natural yard waste into the bin as well. Mix often!
You might be interested in reading about stopping that compost smell.
Start vermicomposting in your apartment
What’s vermicomposting you might ask? Well, it’s having compost inside your home. You also have a bunch of “pet worms” to feed. Again, if you keep the right ratios of food waste to paper, wood etc. you won’t have a stench involved.
This is a great option if you live in an apartment building and don’t have the space for a traditional style of compost bin.
Find a local compost drop-off
While I haven’t seen local compost drop-offs where I live, I know that in the United States there are some big corporations that offer the service. It’s likely the most inconvenient option. And having to travel with your compost may make this a huge hassle… but it is always an option.