How much trash do you generate when you make a meal at home?
You might be sending more trash to the landfill than you realize. Did you know that the most common item that American households send out in their trash is food?
About one-third of the food we create in the world today goes into the trash. That’s a lot of hungry mouths that could be fed with a better plan for distribution.
Although we can’t change the entire world, it is possible to make changes in our homes to reduce the levels of waste that our kitchens generate. Here are some ways that you can get started.
#1. Purchase naked produce.
One of the fastest ways to start reducing waste in the kitchen is to stop using those little plastic bags that separate your produce at the grocery store. We are already using 1 trillion plastic bags each year. We don’t need to keep using more. Purchase produce items in a loose state or use reusable cloth bags that reduce the amount of trash you generate. Then remember to wash everything thoroughly before use.
#2. Prepare your vegetables immediately.
It Is easier to use fresh produce when you can grab it without any preparation work. When you get home from the grocery store, then you’re still in the mindset where are the prep work can be done. Take a few extra minutes to prepare your fruits and vegetables for the week, and then store them properly in the refrigerator. If there are items you know that won’t be used, then prep and freeze them instead.
#3. Bring your own takeout containers.
If you decide to go out for dinner at a favorite restaurant, then there is a good chance you might be bringing home leftovers to enjoy the next day. Instead of using the foam containers that they give you at the place of business, bring your own reusable containers instead. Most places will fill up what you carry if you’re willing to ask them.
#4. Start a compost pile.
When you have a compost pile at home, then you have a way to divert food items that would go into the landfill. Almost anything organic can go into this effort, though you don’t want to compost animal-based products, like chicken bones or dairy products. It helps to have an aluminum or stainless-steel container that holds your food scraps in the kitchen. Then empty the container into your pile or bin each night to create a food source for your future garden.
#5. Be efficient.
Turn your kitchen faucet off if you’re not using the water. Remember to turn the stove off when you’re finished cooking something. When you stay focused on saving energy, then you’re reducing waste in other ways too.
Every home creates energy inefficiencies in some way. These ideas can help you reduce your waste footprint without making significant lifestyle changes. What are some of your favorite ways to reduce trash at home?