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With all the focus on environmental protection in today’s world, one topic that comes up frequently is food waste. Over 54 million tons of food is wasted each year in the United States, but by doing your part, you can help make a much-needed difference. Plus, helping to reduce food waste is good for both the environment and your budget. Want to know how? Read on below.
Preparing your meals beforehand can help minimize food waste by helping you buy only what you actually need to eat. Meal prep can also help you eat healthier since, when you prepare all your meals at once early on in the week, you’re more likely to make wise choices and prepare healthy foods.
In the moment, it can be easy to grab a packaged snack or fast food, but if you make your healthy foods convenient, they’ll be a natural go-to. Try preparing some of these 15-minute healthy recipes and packing them up for later in the week.
Rotate new items to the back of the fridge
When you bring home groceries, move the old food to the front shelves of your refrigerator and put the new groceries in the back. Try to keep duplicates of the same item close together so you don’t open something just to realize you already have a container of it open.
Store food properly
One great way to help your food last longer is to make sure everything is in sealed containers. Tupperware or other similar containers are ideal for this, but if you don’t have any, at least cover a bowl or dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Try to eat leftovers quickly, as these containers won’t completely stop the food from spoiling. If it’s been a little while, make sure you check your leftovers for mold before you eat them.
Make use of your freezer
When trying to reduce food waste, your best friend is going to be the freezer. Chopped fruit and vegetables, soup, meat, and even bread can be frozen and then thawed for use at a later date. That said, it can be easy to lose track of what’s in your freezer, so try to do the same thing as in the fridge and put new items in the back or bottom, cycling older food to the front to be used quickly.
Start a compost pile
Not all food waste is avoidable – there will always be vegetable peels, seeds, and other scraps. An easy way to turn your scraps into something useful is to compost! Use a large plastic bin or a five-gallon bucket, or simply choose a shady spot out of the way in your yard, and dump all your food scraps there.
You can keep a small bucket or bowl in your kitchen so you don’t have to take scraps out multiple times a day – just empty the bucket when it fills up. Not only will this help you get rid of your food waste, but it also makes perfect soil for a garden!