8 Ways to Reduce Food Waste


This little planet of ours is precious.  Don’t you think seahorses, and elephants, and icebergs, and rainbow carrots, and venus flytraps, and fresh air are pretty cool?!  I sure do.

In honor of Earth Day I want to challenge you to think about how you use and waste food.   We’re all guilty—but just being conscious is a significant first step.

In the U.S. we waste 40% of our food (worth $218 billion). Most of that waste comes from individual households, NOT large corporations.

Let me say that again:

In the U.S. we waste 40% of our food (worth $218 billion). Most of that waste comes from individual households, NOT large corporations.

I grew up in Seattle—we cherish our fresh mountain and ocean air—and my brilliant and beautiful big sister is a real garbologist (yes, that’s actually a thing), so I’m extra interested in sustainability.

 My sister gave this TEDx talk last year about the circular economy, highlighting the daily choices we make and how they impact our world (like, did you know Amazon 2-day shipping has a huge negative impact on our earth!?)

I put together a list of eight ways you can reduce food waste in your own home—I hope this will inspire even a small change for you!  (And of course, on their own, some of these micro changes won’t have a massive impact, but they will help you think about being more resourceful with your food).

  1. Compost: This is the most important thing we can all do! If your city supports composting, get on board. Many people think that food thrown in the garbage will decompose on its own (it doesn’t—composting requires a chemical reaction involving heat to break down food).

  2. Reuse chicken carcass or other animal bones to make your own bone broth. Fill a large pot with filtered water, add 1-2 chicken carcasses, 1 bay leaf, peppercorns, sliced ginger, 2 TBS apple cider vinegar, carrots, celery, quartered onion, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let it continue to simmer for 4-5 hours. Strain and store in fridge or freeze into ice cube trays. It will need to be seasoned generously with kosher salt!


3. Carrot top pesto: reuse those leafy greens to make a flavorful pesto!

4. Anytime you squeeze a lemon, zest it first and reserve the zest in the freezer. Next time you’re without a lemon but need some citrusy acidity, you’ll have a stockpile at your fingertips!


5. Save your bacon fat! Reserve it in a container (it’s bad for your drain) and use it instead of butter to cook eggs, toast, veggies etc.

6. Garlic herb butter: Have garlic heads, or clamshells of herbs about to go bad? Whirl them up into garlic herb butter that you can stash in your freezer for months.


7. Imperfect Produce: I just love these guys! They deliver organic fresh produce to your door for 30% less than what you’d pay at the grocery store. And the craziest part? They share the “imperfections” with you, and often the imperfection is just surplus!

8. Olio: This is a great new app that allows neighbors to share food with each other so it doesn’t go to waste (think leftovers from a party, or heading out of town with a full fridge). They’re not in every state, but all my Bay Area peeps, definitely worth a try!

Source: https://www.refed.com/?sort=economic-value-per-ton