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55 Ways to Reduce Kitchen Waste

A great place to start reducing waste in your home is the kitchen! 

  1. Use reusable grocery bags when grocery shopping.
  2. Use reusable produce bags when shopping.
  3. Shop at local markets.
  4. Purchase items with less packaging.
  5. Avoid plastic and Styrofoam as much as possible.
  6. Skip the straw! Simply say no thank you, or bring your own metal or bamboo straw.
  7. Buy food from bulk bins where you can bring your own reusable bags or containers. Have staff weigh your containers or bags first.
  8. When in the grocery store, pick local products.
  9. When you do need to purchase products in packaging, opt for glass jars or bottles that you can reuse for storing other food or household items. spice jars
  10. Start your grocery trip in the produce section – stock up on healthy, un-packaged items.
  11. Avoid purchasing single-serving foods that are individually wrapped, such as snack bars and candy.
  12. Make a meal plan! This will cut down on food and packaging waste.
  13. Buy dishwasher detergent in the liquid form instead of the individually wrapped tablets.
  14. Reuse plastic bottles and jugs for storage, crafts, tools, gardening, and so much more.
  15. Make your own dishwasher tablets to save money and packaging. Various recipes can be found online.
  16. Over time, upgrade your plastic containers to stainless steel or glass containers that are more durable.
  17. Don’t throw away those plastic containers! Use them for freezing food in your freezer, storage, crafts, etc. until they are worn out or broken.
  18. Store food in containers instead of plastic baggies, aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  19. If you have plastic baggies in your home, wash and reuse them.
  20. For a plastic wrap and aluminum foil alternative, buy reusable food wraps that are eco-friendly and last longer.
  21. Pack lunches for work and school in reusable containers.
  22. Use reusable utensils in packed lunches instead of plastic cutlery.
  23. Freeze leftovers if you’re not going to be able to eat them in time.
  24. Donate food to local food banks.
  25. Eat more greens! Vegetables and fruits use fewer resources to grow. Fill your plate with more greens and you will be making the planet and yourself healthier. vegan meal
  26. Compost fruit and vegetable scraps.
  27. Use vegetable scraps to make homemade vegetable broth –many ideas can be found online!
  28. Avoid purchasing single-use beverages like bottled water, soda, or juice.
  29. Use a reusable water bottle and refill as needed.
  30. Make coffee at home and fill your travel coffee mug. Compost the coffee grounds and filter too.
  31. Start a garden! Whether this is a small windowsill garden, or a backyard garden – every part counts! Not only does gardening help you save money on food and reduce emissions of how far food must travel, but is also healthy and fun.
  32. Save the seeds of fruits and vegetables when cooking. Plant these in pots on your windowsill or out in your garden.
  33.  

     

    Regrow food from food scraps. For example, green onions can regrow if the bottom is placed in water. After a few days, the green onion will have grown a few inches and is ready to be planted in soil. Once in the soil, you can cut parts off for cooking and they will regrow over and over again. For more tips, click here
                 regrow food scraps 
    Photo credit: https://simplebites.net/how-to-regrow-vegetable-scraps/

  34. If you hand wash dishes, use a container or small dish tub. Once that is full of water, use it to water your plants.
  35. Wash vegetables and fruits in a dish tub instead of under running water. Use the saved water to water your plants.
  36. Compost cardboard paper towel tubes and bathroom tissue rolls. Or find practical or crafty ways to reuse them, such as using them for organizing cables and cords in storage.
  37. Compost paper towels that you use to wipe up water, soil or food. Do not compost paper towels with cleaning products as this will harm your compost.
  38. Try to go paper free in your kitchen by using cloth towels instead of paper towels. Also, try to use cloth napkins when eating instead of paper napkins.
  39. Save eggs shells and paper egg cartons as they are great seed starters for your garden and are biodegradable.
  40. Bring a container to restaurants for leftovers. A simple glass jar or some Tupperware does the trick.
  41. When ordering for food delivery services, request the extra plastic cutlery, napkins, and other accessories are removed from the bag.
  42. Reuse food delivery and takeout containers. They can be used for meal prep during the week.
  43. Juice it or throw it in a smoothie! Finding produce is about to go bad? Make a quick smoothie or juice for an easy, hassle free way to use up your food before it goes bad.
  44. Have a designated “Eat Me First” box in the refrigerator for tired foods that need to be eaten quickly.
  45. Drink loose leaf tea and buy from bulk stores that allow you to bring in your own containers.
  46. Reuse food containers for your garden – such as yogurt cups, metal soup cans, and larger snack buckets.
  47. Purchase whole cuts of meat to eliminate extra packaging.
  48. Save those bones! You can store animal bones in the freezer and pull out when ready to use and flavor other dishes.
  49. Become best friends with your freezer. Many people overlook the amazing storage space freezers offer for meal prep. Make sure to use airtight containers and avoid glass containers that have thin necks.  freezer zero waste
    Photo credit:  https://treadingmyownpath.com/2016/08/04/the-definitive-guide-to-storing-food-without-plastic/ 
  50. Preserve your herbs by placing them in a cup of water in the fridge for short term use. If you want to save herbs for long term use, freeze them in oil, such as olive oil. Simply use an ice cube tray to separate herbs into smaller compartments.
  51. Turn odds and ends in your fridge into a snack board.
  52. Use the leafy green tops from beets, carrots, and turnips to add flavor to recipes. Do a little research and find out which greens are tasty when sautéed.
  53. Upcycle containers, especially glass mason jars, into vases, drinking ware, and more.
  54. Make your sponge last by boiling it for several minutes to kill germs and odors. You can also do this by microwaving in a bowl of water for a few minutes.
  55. The Dunedin orange – save those citrus peels! Citrus zest adds wonderful flavor to food. The peels can also be used to deter ants and mosquitos.       oranges

 

Photo credit for first slide: https://thecoconutmama.com/reduce-waste/