One of the biggest culprits of waste in our house for a while was food waste. It really just breaks my heart when you have to throw away a once beautiful zucchini or more often for us, wilted, soggy lettuce. Just look at the staggering amount of waste in the U.S., it really breaks your heart when you know how many people are living in this world with very little food, or no food at all.
Now, after this depressing graphic, I've compiled a list of my 5 favorite tips to avoid food waste to bring you back up!
1. Meal Plan.
This can make a HUGE difference, and really does for us. It helps you use up what you have, utilize your pantry, and makes sure you're eating at home when you have everything you need right there. We aren't always perfect at it, but it is something we are always striving to make a solid habit.
2. Eat Leftovers.
Probably goes without saying, but some of us (guilty!) could use a little reminder. Alex is great at eating leftovers, I am not always the best... but we try to pack everything up into lunch size portions and eat it throughout the week, or pop it in the freezer if we don't think we're going to eat it this week.
3. Keep Bread in the Fridge.
It keeps the bread fresh for SO much longer! Especially in the summer, when our kitchen gets so humid, our bread gets moldy in no time. This solution has kept our bread fresh and mold free for weeks! We really only make our own bread for the most part and we almost always toast it, so refrigerating it never bothers us or makes it too hard.
This has been a saving grace for savoring our fruits and veggies on their last leg. We will make a big batch of fresh juice using up the last bits of grapes, beet greens, carrots, greens- the list goes on. We still get the vitamins and minerals from the fruits and veggies without the guilt of having to throw them away! Plus, I always add an apple or two and a handful of carrots to make it a little sweeter. So delicious.
5. Keep a Bag Full of Veggie Scraps for Stock.
I did a whole post about my process here, but I love turning nothing into a giant pot of stock to use in soups! We keep a gallon ziplock in our freezer, and throw in all of our veggie scraps - carrot peels, onion butts, celery ends, etc. - add water, cook down and voila! Then you can compost the rest! It's amazing!
I am definitely not perfect and food waste still happens in our house, but I think it's like all zero waste shifts - every single move you make helps. It's not about perfection, it's about being conscious of your choices and trying your best whenever you can.
Find what works for you, and make the change.