Are you looking to switch to a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly way to eat and live? We can all do our part to help reduce the amount of food waste that goes from our kitchens to the bins. There are a lot of ways to reduce food waste and protect the environment while saving money.
At the Grocery Store
Be sure to plan your shopping list ahead of time — think about the meals you want to make and what you need to prepare during the week. It will also help to check your fridge to see what items you still have and which items you need to purchase. Making sure you have a list will help you not buy unnecessary items, which can lead to waste.
When you arrive at the store, ensure that you only buy what you need and always stick to your shopping list. Take care when buying in bulk and stay away from items that have a short shelf life.
In the Kitchen
Look at the temperature setting in your fridge and ensure that it stays at 4° C or below — this will make sure that your food stays safe and unspoiled. Moreover, your freezer’s temperature needs to be at -18° C.
Use apps to get more information on how you can safely store various kinds of food to maintain their quality and freshness. Be sure to refrigerate cut or peeled veggies to keep them fresh for longer and to prevent them from going bad.
Freezing is another great way to store food and keep it from going bad. You can use an app to help you determine how long certain items can be stored in your freezer.
If you notice that you have more food than you need, consider donating it to a nearby food drive or local food pantry.
Make it a habit to learn about how date labels work. Many consumers often misunderstand the meaning and purpose of product dates that are often found on packaged goods. Unfortunately, the confusion that surrounds these dates accounts for around 20% of food waste.
If you have trouble eating up all your food at home, try having a weekend friend or family cook-off. It helps to be fun and creative in the kitchen, and you can make new dishes out of leftovers or ingredients that you didn’t use throughout the week.
Use the two-hour rule, which is a strategy to make sure you don’t leave perishables out at room temperature for more than two hours. Remember to refrigerate all your leftovers no later than two hours after eating.
Try to stick to the serving size suggested on the item’s label to help control meal portions — you can always add more later if you’re still hungry.
If you’ve prepared too much food during a celebration at home, you can pack some in reusable containers for your guests to take home.
There are many ways in which we can save food waste if we take the time to prepare ahead of time. By applying these small and simple changes to our shopping, cooking, and eating routines, we can achieve our goal of helping the environment. Apart from our primary goal of reducing food waste, we can also benefit by saving a bit more money than usual, which is a win-win for all.
Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash