Project Green – How To Reduce Food Waste

Helpful tips and tricks on how to reduce food waste every day

Hi, all! I’m so happy to bring you the first issue of a new column I’ve been working on for a while. I’ve been thinking about incorporating more advice on green living on this blog for a while now and I thought – what better time to start an advice column than at the beginning of a new year? If you want to change things – big and small – in 2014, living a more sustainable lifestyle should definitely be a part of that change.

For the first installment, I decided to talk about a topic very dear to my heart: Food Waste. Growing up, my mother always told us never to throw away food mindlessly (only if it has gone bad) and that has stuck with me until today. It’s crazy – more than one billion people in the world don’t have enough food to survive and yet we waste so much of it. In Europe alone over 90 million tons (!) of food are thrown away every year. We need to change that. Here are some simple tips, if you want to reduce food waste in your household:

Click through to read my tips 

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1 | Write a shopping list before heading to the grocery store. This way you won’t buy anything you already have in your fridge and end up with three loafs of bread and no butter (for example).

2 | Only buy as much as you need. Sounds obvious? What I mean is – don’t buy that XXL-package just because you believe it is cheaper. Take a second to think about how much you’re actually going to use/eat and then buy the smallest package possible. Just think of it this way: If you don’t buy the monster package of cereal, you get to try a different flavour so much sooner!

3 | This is also practically a no-brainer, but properly storing your food is essential. This way it doesn’t go bad so fast and you don’t have to head to the grocery store every other day. This is a great resource on how to properly store fresh fruit and over here are tons of tips as well.

4 | And if you have some food left you don’t know how to use? Some old and dry bread for example? Instead of throwing it away, just head for the internet. There’s a recipe for almost anything (Old bread tastes great if you roast it with some olive oil, garlic and salt). This is also a great way to try some new recipes you would have never thought of before.

I’m curious, what are your best tips to prevent throwing away food?

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A special thank you to Danielle from Lucky Number Seven for creating the lovely graphic for this column!

MerkenMerken

12 Comments

  • emma
    January 10, 2014
    Reply
     

    I loved this post! I am so bad when it comes to food shopping, I am always buying the XXL versions because they are cheaper and then throwing food & money away! Thanks for the great tips!

    • hanna
      January 11, 2014
      Reply
       

      I’m glad you could use them :)

  • Emmali
    January 10, 2014
    Reply
     

    Great post, this is something vert near to my heart too :) I write shopping lists, and plan both meals and how I’m going to use my leftovers. Then sometimes I just skip the planning and go dumpster diving, there’s always something good – fruit and vegetables in perfect shape for eating, but not for selling. Of course sometimes I end up with something I have to throw out, but luckily we have hens where I live. They eat our organical waste and give us ecological eggs in return :)

    • hanna
      January 11, 2014
      Reply
       

      Wow, that sounds great!
      I’ve never been dumpster diving but maybe that’s something I ought to try this year?
      And I’ve always wanted to have hens in my garden, hopefully someday soon :)

      • Emmali
        January 13, 2014
        Reply
         

        Yeah you should definitely try it – but maybe with someone who’s done it before. I think it would be a bit creepy to do it alone! :)

        • hanna
          January 15, 2014
          Reply
           

          Ha, you’re right! :)

  • juni
    January 11, 2014
    Reply
     

    yes! this is such a great place to start being less wasteful. thanks for the tips, hanna :)

    • hanna
      January 11, 2014
      Reply
       

      Thanks, I’m glad you could use them! :)

  • Melinda DiOrio
    January 20, 2014
    Reply
     

    I love this post Hanna. Many people talk about “mindful eating”, but we don’t talk as much about “mindful food shopping”! I buy mostly whole foods, and only what I need for the week. If I bought too much produce that week, I’ll always make sure to cook the veggies will the shortest shelf life first. Potatoes, carrots, squash, etc. can always be used for the next week’s recipe. Thank you for sharing the tips on better food storage too! Another good tip would be to get used to eating leftovers! I try to stick to dishes that would be good leftover for a few days. Usually whatever I make for dinner Sunday, I’ll also take for lunch Mon-Weds, or even Thurs. This saves a lot of money and waste, since you don’t have to worry about buying different ingredients for every meal of the week. Also time!!

    • hanna
      January 22, 2014
      Reply
       

      These are great tips!

      I love the idea of just cooking the food with the shortest shelf life, this way you can store it that much longer (and eat it when you don’t have all that much time on hand). Do you freeze it afterwards or is it okay in the refridgerator, too?

  • Melinda DiOrio
    January 20, 2014
    Reply
     

    Hanna, are you on Twitter?


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Meet Hanna
Hanna's Places - a green lifestyle blog

Hanna’s Places is a green lifestyle magazine written by Hanna Ulatowski. It’s all about slowing down in a fast-paced society and finding ways to live a more sustainable, simple lifestyle.

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