In Australia, consumers throw away around a massive 3.1 million tonnes of food each year. That’s close to 17,000 grounded 747 jumbo jets! The commercial and industrial sectors dispose of an additional 2.2 million tonnes. This is a sobering thought when you consider that hunger is the leading cause of death globally.
Have you ever taken note of how much food is wasted in your home? Being that it’s ‘Stop Food Waste Day’, we thought it’s only apt to provide you with four tips on how you can reduce food waste in your home.
Tip #1: Plan right
Most people tend to buy more food than they actually need. Make sure you write a shopping list, and stick to it. It helps to begin the week with a plan of what you’re going to cook every night, and then only shop for what you need.
If time or skills are not on your side, consider trying some ready made meals from a supplier like YouFoodz, or meal kits which can be delivered to your door, eg Marley Spoon. These are designed to supply you with just what you need, even down to a pinch of salt and pepper, so besides being very convenient, they’re especially helpful with reducing food waste.
Tip #2: Store right
Food can spoil pretty quickly if it’s not stored correctly, which ultimately means it gets thrown in the bin. It’s estimated that around two-thirds of household waste is spoiled food. One of the best ways to store food is in reusable food-grade containers.
Many fruit and vegetables can give off chemicals and gases, so knowing what to store together or apart can help to keep them fresher for longer. For instance: store an apple with potatoes to keep them from sprouting; bananas encourage other fruits to ripen more quickly so keep them separate; keep the avocado stone in the half that you don’t need to stop the flesh from going brown; and wrap greens in paper towels to keep crisp.
Tip #3: Re-use right
After cooking every night through the week, the fridge often becomes full with leftovers. To ensure they’re all eaten, you need to make sure they’re seen, so store them in clear glass containers. You might need to designate a day to eat all the leftovers to avoid throwing any food away.
And, don’t throw away the ends of your carrots, celery, onions, mushroom and herb stems. Toss them all in a bag and freeze. Once you have a reasonable amount, bring them out and boil them to make a flavoursome stock. Once you’ve made the stock, freeze it into cubes so you don’t waste any.
Tip #4: Dispose right
When food scraps are sent to landfill, they decompose to produce potent greenhouse gases. So, instead of throwing leftover food in the bin, consider composting. It’s a great way to turn your food waste into energy for your plants. There’s even countertop composting systems for those of you with limited space. You can compost food scraps such as fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, egg shells, nut shells and tea bags. Mix it in with cardboard, newspaper, vegetation, soil and dirt so the food can be broken down – your garden will love you!
If you’re living in a really tight space, consider installing a sink food disposal unit. These are an easy, eco-friendly option to reduce food waste going into landfill. The food simply gets munched up and flushed through the waste disposer and into your normal waste system.
On Stop Food Waste Day, let’s all work toward doing our bit to reduce the amount of food we waste. Taking on these four tips will certainly help.