20 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Food Waste

Food waste is a bigger problem than many people realize.

In fact, nearly one-third of all food produced in the world is discarded or wasted for various reasons. That equates to nearly 1.3 billion tons every year

1. Shop Smart

avoid buying more food than you need

2. Store Food Correctly

Separating foods that produce more ethylene gas from those that don’t is another great way to reduce food spoilage. Ethylene promotes ripening in foods and could lead to spoilage.

3. Learn to Preserve

Pickling, drying, canning, fermenting, freezing and curing are all methods you can use to make food last longer, thus reducing waste.

4. Don’t Be a Perfectionist

It’s such a big issue that major grocery chains have started offering ugly fruits and vegetables at a discount in an attempt to reduce waste. Do your part by choosing slightly imperfect produce at the grocery store, or better yet, directly from the farmer.

5. Keep Your Fridge Clutter-Free

While having a well-stocked fridge can be a good thing, an overly filled fridge can be bad when it comes to food waste.

Help avoid food spoilage by keeping your fridge organized so you can clearly see foods and know when they were purchased.

A good way to stock your fridge is by using the FIFO method, which stands for “first in, first out.”

6. Save Leftovers

Although many people save excess food from large meals, it is often forgotten in the fridge, then tossed when it goes bad.

Storing leftovers in a clear glass container, rather than in an opaque container, helps ensure you don’t forget the food.

7. Eat the Skin

People often remove the skins of fruits, veggies. For example, apple skins contain a large amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

8. Eat the Yolk

Although most people are moving away from the once-popular low-fat dieting trend, many still avoid egg yolks, opting for egg-white omelets and scrambled egg whites instead.

Avoiding egg yolks mostly stems from the fear that they increase cholesterol levels. Many people assume that eating foods high in cholesterol, like eggs, has a major impact on cholesterol levels.

9. Be a Seed Saver

Aside from using the tasty flesh of your pumpkins in recipes and baking, a great way to cut waste is to save the seeds. In fact, pumpkin seeds are tasty and packed with nutrients.

10. Blend It Up

Blending up a nutrient-packed smoothie can be a delicious way to reduce food waste.

11. Make Homemade Stock

Whipping up a homemade stock is an easy way to use excess food.

12. Perk Up Your Water

Many people don’t drink enough water simply because they don’t like the flavor, or lack thereof.

Luckily, you can make water tastier and reduce your food waste impact at the same time.

One of the easiest ways to increase your water intake is to make it taste good. Use peels from citrus fruits, apples and cucumbers to add a kick to your glass of water or seltzer.

13. Keep Your Serving Sizes in Check

Overeating is a problem for many people.

Making sure your portion sizes stay within a healthy range doesn’t just help keep your weight down, it also reduces food waste.

14. Get Friendly With Your Freezer

Freezing food is one of the easiest ways to preserve it, and the types of food that take well to freezing are endless.

15. Understand Expiration Dates

“Sell by” and “expires on” are just two of the many confusing terms companies use on food labels to let consumers know when a product will most likely go bad.

“Sell by” is used to inform retailers when the product should be sold or removed from the shelves. “Best by” is a suggested date that consumers should use their products by.

16. Compost If You Can

Composting leftover food is a beneficial way to reuse food scraps, turning food waste into energy for plants.

17. Pack Your Lunch

Although going out to lunch with coworkers or grabbing a meal from your favorite restaurant may be enjoyable, it is also costly and can contribute to food waste.

A helpful way to save money while reducing your carbon footprint is to bring your lunch to work with you.

If you tend to generate leftovers from home-cooked meals, pack them up for a satisfying and healthy lunch for your workday.

18. Don’t Toss the Grounds

If you can’t fathom getting ready for your day without a hot cup of coffee, chances are you generate a lot of coffee grounds.

Interestingly, this often-overlooked leftover has many uses.

Those with a green thumb may be delighted to know that coffee grounds make excellent fertilizer for plants. The grounds are high in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which are nutrients that plants crave.

Coffee grounds also make a fantastic natural mosquito repellent.

19. Get Creative in the Kitchen

One of the great things about cooking your own food is that you can tweak recipes to your liking, adding new flavors and ingredients.

Including parts of foods that aren’t usually used is an excellent way to repurpose scraps when you’re experimenting in the kitchen.

20. Pamper Yourself

If you want to save money while avoiding potentially harmful chemicals found in some skincare products, try preparing a scrub or mask at home.

Avocados are packed with healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamin E, which makes them a perfect addition to a natural face mask

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