We all know that reducing waste is important, but it can be hard to know where to start. In the kitchen there are many ways to cut down on waste without making any big changes to your routine.
With a few simple changes, you can make meal planning and cooking easier while also decreasing the amount of food you throw away. You can also keep your consumption of plastics and harmful products down to a minimum. It's win-win-win!
We're passionate about reducing food and all other types of waste – here's our advice for limiting your household's kitchen waste.
It starts in the cart
Sustainable packaging can be confusing, but it's important to understand how to make eco-friendly choices when grocery shopping. To reduce the amount of plastic and paper you're throwing out with each shop, look for items stored in glass, bamboo, stainless steel, or containers made of recycled materials. For example, instead of milk in a plastic jug, choose a brand that comes in a carton (which most long-life milk does).
To reduce packaging waste from cleaning products, consider DIY and natural cleaning options – they won’t hurt Earth, but will still make your home glisten! Transition to reusable and washable cloths instead of binning countless paper towels, and for washing dishes you can try using Plastic-Free Scour Pads.
Don't forget the materials you use for food storage, too. Cling film is single use, which makes it incredibly wasteful. Luckily there are lots of sustainable alternatives to plastic wrap – we like beeswax wrap, which you can easily find in local stores or at markets. If you prefer to shop online, try Beeswax Wrap Australia, Bee Wrappy, and Honeybee Wrap.
Don't toss those scraps!
Ever feel guilty about tossing those broccoli stalks or apple cores in the trash? You're not alone! In fact, most of us grossly underestimate how much food we actually waste each year. But are some surprising ways to recycle your kitchen scraps and reduce your amount of garbage.
One surprising way to cut down on scraps is to use them for crafts! Many food items can be used as dyes, like avocado skin, which can dye clothes a peachy pink, spinach which dyes green, or yellow onion peel for a yellow-orange finish!
Meal prepping and planning
One of the biggest challenges of meal planning is avoiding food waste. Between forgetting about something in the fridge and cooking too much, it's easy to end up with rotting produce and expired leftovers.
The first solution to reducing this type of food waste is focus on creating delicious dishes you actually want to eat!
Next up, have a plan in place for leftovers. Have some excess cooked chicken or sautéed veggies? Use what wasn’t eaten yesterday, and make a soup with it today! Try to plan weekly meals that use the same ingredients in varied ways. This will prevent produce from being forgotten about and left to expire.
If you have leftover scraps at the end of the week, some easy meals to use them up are: burritos, bowls, casseroles, pastas, stir fries, and wraps. Leftover veggies can be used in quiches, soups, and stews, or even pasta sauce! Meats can be repurposed as fillings for burritos, sandwiches, tacos, and quesadillas, or as toppings on a pizza. Rice and other leftovers can be turned into a delicious fried rice dish. Leftover fruits can be blended into spectacular smoothies.
And if all you've got left in the fridge is half a cucumber... any pet-safe scraps double as nutritious snacks for our furry friends. They'll love you for the treat, and it eliminates just a little bit of food waste!