Tips for decreasing food waste

Waste management and recycling are mainstream topics these days leaving little consideration for the increasing issue regarding food waste. North Americans and Europeans waste between 209 – 253 pounds of food per year. From a global perspective, 1.3 billion tons of food purchased for human consumption goes to waste.

Food waste is one of the least recovered waste items in the municipal waste stream, but ironically, it is one of the most important items that should be removed due to the release of methane gas as it decomposes in landfills. Methane gas is a greenhouse gas which when released into the atmosphere, has a great effect on climate changes.

Several options are available which help reduce food waste, including food recycling such as composting. The tips below will help reduce food cost, food waste, and benefit the environment.

  • Shop with meals in mind. This will also help save money as you will be more apt to stick with your shopping list.
  • Donate unexpired boxed or canned goods you believe you won’t be using in the future.
  • Put compostable food waste into a bin and use it for next year’s garden.
  • When new food is purchased from the store, be sure to rotate items in your refrigerator as well as cupboards. Place newer items in the back and older in the front.
  • If you realize you have more food than you need or there are plenty of leftovers after a family meal, freeze the rest. This will also save money and time down the road as you already have a meal prepared in the freezer.
  • Be sure your fridge is up to par. Check seals and the temperatures to ensure proper storage of your food.
  • Buy only what you need and take only what you need at the dinner table. Rather than doubling up on your plate, remember that second helpings are always there.
  • Get creative with leftovers. Toss them into a casserole, smoothie, or a soup.

Reducing waste in small increments can go a long way. Reduction of waste begins with being mindful of your food waste and implementing new strategies which will enhance your reduction efforts. Once the process begins, incorporating further changes in your daily routine will become simple.