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5 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste

September 27, 2016 ·

An astonishing 30-40 percent of food supplied in the United States goes to waste,[i] and up to 95 percent of that food waste across the country ends up in the landfill[ii]. Food waste is costly, and a burden on our environment, but it’s largely preventable.

Here are five easy ways to reduce food waste and help contribute to a more sustainable future:

TAKE LEFTOVERS. Our favorite restaurants provide much-needed relief for the sometimes cumbersome task of cooking. However, we’re often left full before finishing the heaping plate of pasta, and the rest is tossed. Next time, consider asking your waiter or waitress for a box, and taking your leftovers to work for lunch the next day. Or better yet, bring a reusable container with you on your evening out to pack those leftovers. This not only reduces waste, but saves you from rushing to pack your lunch.

SHARE FOOD. As the old adage goes, “sharing is caring.” Some individuals, who care deeply about the environment and eliminating food waste, have taken this saying to the next level. OLIO, a free food-sharing app, connects neighbors to each other so that surplus food can be shared instead of thrown away. This innovative approach to food sharing hasn’t made its way to the U.S., but the concept can be applied at the local level. Form a network of friends or neighbors to connect with via social media networks or in person. Start a food sharing group for the next time you need a cup of sugar or an egg for your famous chocolate cake. You can deliver a slice of cake later to say thank you.

GET CREATIVE. In a hurry, you picked up the family-size can of diced tomatoes instead of the 14.5-ounce can the recipe calls for. Rather than tossing the unused tomatoes, use them for a scrumptious soup the next day. Here are dozens of recipes for more food-saving ideas.

CUT DOWN RECIPES. Recipes are wonderful, often saving us time and the headache of trial and error. But many recipes are seemingly designed for large families, and knowing how to pair the ingredients down for your table of one or two can be overwhelming. Check out this helpful chart for cutting down recipes and food waste.

BUY AS YOU GO. Fresh produce is great for your health, but spoils easily. The best way to cut down on perishable food waste, is to buy as you go. On your weekly shopping trip, only purchase the items you need. Read on for some more tips on reducing produce spoilage.

For more tips on reducing food waste, click here.  

[i] United States Department of Agriculture 
[ii] Environmental Protection Agency


Tags: Green Tips

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