With World Environment Day approaching, it’s an excellent time for us all to rethink how much food we buy (and waste.) Reducing the amount of food we waste will in-turn reduce our negative impact on the environment, and of course save us money in the process.
When most people throw food away, they rarely think of the environmental impact this may have. However when you think about it, food has a high environmental and financial cost. When we waste food, we are also wasting our resources and our money at the same time.
Americans alone throw away 40% of the food they buy and $165 billion dollars worth each and every year. With numbers like these, it’s obvious that there is definite room for improvement. We need to understand the principle that food is precious; of course we need to enjoy it but we need to do our best to only buy what we need and reduce waste.
Image courtesy of phasinphoto at freedigitalphotos.net
How should we start? Here are some tips:
-Always make a grocery list before going to the supermarket. Most of the time we forget what we have in our fridge already and what we actually need – this leads to overbuying and buying unnecessary items.
-Plan your meals for the week and write down exactly how much of everything you need for these recipes. Only buy these items and don’t get distracted by others!
-Do not buy items such as meat, fresh seafood and chicken in bulk as these items quickly go off
-Keep potatoes away from sunlight and store in a cool place – if this rule isn’t followed it could lead to food poisoning!
-Also keep onions away from the sunlight but separate to the potatoes as these items have agents in them that cause the other to spoil more quickly
-Make sure your refrigerator is set below five degrees Celcius – this is the optimal temperature for keeping foods fresh
-Freeze foods! If you can see that you’re not going to eat the remainder of your food, make sure to utilize your freezer so you can enjoy the foods at a later date
-Use the whole item! For example, if you’re using a pumpkin for your soup, make sure to scrape the seeds from the inside. You can then put a bit of salt on them and toast them in the oven – it’s a delicious snack!
-Don’t eat more than you need! Most of the time our servings are much bigger than what we actually need – take the time to listen to your body before going for a second helping. Have a glass of water and wait ten minutes – most of the time you will see that you’re not hungry anymore!
-Refrigerate all leftovers straight away – you can eat it for lunch or dinner the following day, saving time, waste and money
-Grow your own vegetable garden in your backyard
-Throw your fruit and vegetable scraps only in compost bins
Those are a few of our tips to save food and money and in-turn become more environmentally friendly! What are yours?