For any of you who regularly read the posts on my blog, it will be no surprise to you that one of my favourite things to talk about is reducing food waste. I was therefore THRILLED when Renee from the @theecofam offered to write a guest post all about reducing your carbon footprint from your kitchen! Thank you so much Renee for writing this awesome post!
The current state of the environment has many questioning what they can do to lessen their individual carbon footprint. The good news is, there are so many easy and accessible ways! Let’s talk about one that is applicable to most and has a huge impact – food waste.
Why is reducing food waste important?
When food is tossed in the garbage, it releases a greenhouse gas called methane as it degrades. Methane is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Not only that, but if food goes uneaten, the resources (think energy, water, land) that have gone into growing that food are wasted. The carbon footprint of wasted food is so high that if it were a country, it would be the 3rd largest emitter in the world. With that being said, let’s look at some easy ways to reduce food waste at home!
How to get started!
I always say the best way to get started, is to simply start! My best advice is to slowly incorporate new habits and changes in a way that is not overwhelming to you so that you can maintain them long term.
- Make a meal plan and a shopping list – then stick to it! Planning meals and making a list of the ingredients you need can stop you from overbuying in the first place. We usually leave 2 nights a week as “leftover” days to make sure we eat everything that’s in the fridge.
- Once you get home from grocery shopping, wash and cut up your produce so it is ready to eat. In my house, it’s a guaranteed way to have everyone reaching for healthy snacks!
- Store food correctly. Certain foods like bananas and avocados release ethylene gas which promotes ripening. If paired with foods that are sensitive to ethylene, you could see your produce spoiling more quickly. A quick Ecosia search will give you all the ins and outs of good and bad pairings.
- If you notice veggies like carrots, celery or broccoli getting soft, cut off the ends and place them in a jar of cold water. Place them in the fridge for a few hours and they will be crunchy and ready to eat again!
- If you like having berries washed and ready to eat, try soaking them in a water/vinegar mix. Mix 1 part vinegar to 8 parts water, soak, and rinse with cold water. Let them dry on a cloth and then store them in the fridge. Now you can pre-pack lunches without worrying about your berries going bad!
- Freezers are your friend! If fruits and veggies are about to spoil and you don’t think you’ll be able to eat them in time, put them in a bag and pop them in the freezer. Anything you see on grocery store shelves can likely be frozen at home. If you are unsure about the method to use for a particular fruit or vegetable, try searching online for proper freezing techniques.
- Put an “eat first” bin in your fridge. Place the bin in a spot that will catch your eye every time you open your fridge, so you are reminded of anything you need to eat up!
- Try using beeswax wraps! Beeswax wraps can act as a natural, protective, yet breathable skin for any cut up produce. They allow produce to release oxidizing gases, preventing them from becoming slimy and mushy. Place your wrapped produce it in the fridge to extend shelf life.
Food waste is a very significant contributor to global warming. On the brighter side, we can all adopt small changes that add up to big impact when we take the time to implement them into our daily lives. I hope these actionable steps help you feel empowered to make changes in your own kitchen!
Thank you so much to @theecofam for writing this post. If you love it as much as I do and want to follow them, head over to their Instagram here!
For more posts all about reducing your food waste why not check out this post…