10 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste During Lockdown
Food waste is a problem for so many of us, and it is more of a problem than you might first realize. According to studies, it has been found that we waste nearly a third of food, all around the world, which includes food that is simply thrown away, or wasted in other ways. Wasting food that could have been eaten wastes money, but it also impacts the environment more than you think. If the food isn’t used or composted, it just goes to landfill, where it produces methane gas as it rots, the second most common greenhouse gas. You will waste a lot of water if you waste food too. So doing your bit really does start at home.
During lockdown at the moment, due to COVID-19, you may find yourself realizing that food is precious, because we can’t always just go to the store. So with a little time and effort, you can make a difference and reduce waste. Here are some easy ways that you can help.
1. Store food correctly
If you don’t store food in the right way, then it can lead to waste as the food can spoil much faster than it should. For example, foods like potatoes, cucumber, garlic, and tomatoes are often put in a refrigerator, but really shouldn’t be; they should be kept at room temperature.
2. Blend It
Blending up fruit or veggies that are in your home but aren’t looking at their best is a good way to use them up, but provide nutrition for you too. You could make soups, as well as smoothies, and you can blend up most things, from overripe bananas to kale and broccoli stalks.
3. Meal Planning
If you are at home during lockdown, then you may have a little more time on your hands to plan out your meals, and as a result, reduce waste. Write a list, and look through your cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer, to see what you have to work with. Not only will you reduce waste, but you’ll save money in your grocery bill too.
4. Use Your Freezer
Do you use your freezer as much as you could do? You could batch cook meals and then freeze a portion, or chop and prep fruit and veggies that are going out, to have as ready to go smoothie packs. Your freezer will keep them fresh, and then you can use up as and when you need to.
5. Rethink Serving Sizes
Eating too much can be a problem for many of us, so keeping on top of your portion control can be a good thing for a number of reasons. If you don’t make too much food that you don’t eat all of, then it reduces how much you will throw away.
Composting leftover food means that it won’t just go to landfill, but can be used as energy for plants, right in your own yard. If you don’t have an outdoor space, you can buy indoor compost bins, or your local authority may do food waste collections.
7. Use Every Part
There are so many things that will get thrown out, like seeds, apple cores, and peels, even coffee grounds. These can all be used again. Coffee grounds are a good fertilizer for plants, and seeds can be roasted, or fruit peels can be used to infuse water.
8. Pamper Yourself
There are a lot of food products that can be used as natural beauty aids. Avocados can make face masks, as can eggs and honey.
9. Get to Grips with Expiration Dates
Foods bought in a store legally have to have a ‘use by’ date on and a ‘sell by’ date on them, but they are two different things. Stores need to sell something by a sell by date, but they could still be good to eat. ‘Best by’ dates are also suggestions, so use your initiative to see if something is good to eat or not.
10. Declutter Your Kitchen
If foods are out of sight because of kitchen cupboards that are full, or a refrigerator that is packed with food, then out of sight and out of mind comes into play. Knowing what you have in the kitchen will help you to reduce waste.