Here are three surprisingly simple ways to reduce waste and love doing so:
1. Get Only What You Need
Wasting food is like dumping water right into the sewer. The average American wastes 26,500 gallons of water per year by tossing six common food items in the trash: lettuce, almonds, apples, tomatoes, eggs and beef. Discarding a tomato is the equivalent of pouring six and a half gallons of water down the drain. Any time we throw away an apple, we squander 25 gallons of water. Pitch a pound of beef and 1,800 gallons of water goes with it.
In the U.S. we throw away about 40 percent of our total food supply every year, which also wastes 25 percent of all freshwater consumed annually.
From a household budget perspective, think of what you could buy with an extra $2,275 per year. That’s the amount of money the average household spends on food that’s thrown away.
- Eat leftovers! Sound exciting? If you want a change of pace, learn how to cook smart and turn leftovers into a new meal. When eating out, whip out your own doggy bag container and take home your leftovers.
- Learn ways to store foods to keep them fresh as long as possible. Did you know you can freeze eggs?
- If you do have food scraps or unwanted leftovers, learn how and where you can compost.
2. Buy Locally Grown Foods
Locally grown foods do not need to be transported, which means less fuel is consumed to get your dinner from farm to table. The shorter the distance between the farm and your table means longer ripening, better flavor and richer nutrients. At a farmers market you can find an amazing array of heirloom produce. Enjoy opportunities to learn about and meet the people who work hard to bring you the most delicious and nutritious food around.
Supporting local farmers today means you are helping to ensure that there will be farms in our community tomorrow.
3. Use Reusable Cloth Bags to Transport Groceries
According to the nonprofit Earth Policy Institute, more than one trillion plastic bags are used across the globe each year.
Plastic pollution deeply impacts marine animals and has lead to the deaths of millions of marine bird species. Most of the plastic that ends up in the ocean comes from single-use bags, food containers, bottles, caps, etc.
Limiting use and disposing of these items properly helps to reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the ocean.
After you put your groceries away, hang your reusable bag on the doorknob so you’ll remember to pack them in your trunk for your next grocery trip.