By Tifanee Po, Creator of Sustainably Unique.
"One-third of all food produced for human consumption around the world gets wasted."
FOOD WASTE! AHH!
There were a lot of things that I did NOT know about food waste, which definitely shocked me…
Like that one-third of all food produced for human consumption around the world gets wasted, which equates to 1.3 billion tonnes of food! Like 1 tonne = 2,000 pounds!! That’s A LOT of food wasted each year.
Food waste that ends up at landfills actually turns into methane, which is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas! It’s about 25 X more powerful than CO2. So these greenhouse gases heat up the earth’s surface, causing global warming and climate change. When we talk about 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste, that’s an insane amount of methane gas getting released that is contributing to this HUGE world issue. CRAZY!
If you care about the planet, nature, animals, or the future generations that will live on this earth, you should 100% care about food waste!
I’m just listing a few of my top tips to reducing food waste in this post, so hopefully it helps get you started, or gives you a bit more direction! They’re things that I’m working on and will continue to do :)
As I’ve been continuing on my sustainability journey, the issue of “waste” is actually WAY more vast than I even anticipated. I obviously knew there was a lot to learn, but the facts I’ve been coming across have been a challenge…which I’m all for! Bring it on!
Each week, I’m trying to tackle one area at a time. So this still keeps consistent with my motto, “Small baby steps to living more green.” This week was food waste and you’ve seen some of the facts. So, my first steps are to implement changes that work best for me in my life…here are my tips!
1. MEAL PLANNING / PREPPING
A big struggle for me is always meal planning and prepping effectively. I TRY to plan, but then get thrown off by having a last-minute meeting (work-related) or running late in my day, so I don’t have time to cook. It’s tough! Geoff (my fiance) is really good at this, so we balance each other out a bit haha. BUT I also get that this is part of the process in reducing food waste, so no room for excuses! I’m continuing to work on these steps, but have seen them really improve our habits at home, so want to share.
Some tips to effectively meal plan:
Take Inventory! My cousin (Jessy) has an intense memory, specifically for all the food in her apartment. A random skill, but also really helps her to not overbuy so food doesn’t get wasted! If you’re like me, you need to actually look through your cupboard before heading to the store. So do that! (Jessy, I hope you read this haha).
Make a List! Seems simple, I know. But really making a grocery list that has ALL the ingredients you need to make your meals, is imperative. Helps you stick to what you need, so you don’t buy what you do not need. Love me a good list.
Have Variety! When you plan your meals, add some variety. Make it fun and different, so you’re still inspired as the week goes on. When Geoff and I are on day three of curry leftovers, we tend to scrap eating at home. Makes us waste money and also food sometimes!
Dedicate Time! Picking a couple days a week to meal prep really helps with getting it done. Days that you know you will be free and can dedicate a couple hours to cooking - this is HUGE for me. So, knowing that every Sunday we meal prep is how I plan my week.
Think about making larger batches of certain meals so you can freeze some of your food to save for a later date! This helps SO, SO much!
When I make a big batch of my vegan butternut squash soup, I know I can save half of it in the freezer, so I don’t get tired of eating it, then waste it. PLUS you will have some food when you’re in a pinch so you won’t get caught having to eat out.
If you have a small freezer like me, every inch counts. I try to pick my glass containers or jars that can easily fit, so I maximize the space. And the meals are already broken up into individual “orders” so there aren’t really any leftovers.
Also, don’t forget about freezing fruit or vegetables that are about to go bad! Always great to use for smoothies at a later date.
I’m trying to get Geoff on board with a worm farm…he’s not into it YET! But for now, we’re going to be composting. This is just an additional way for us to save the ends of our fruits & veggies so they don’t go to waste, AND I can use it for my garden.
This is a big step for me, as I’ve never done composting before, but I have a feeling I’m going to fall in love with it haha.
There are lots of tips on how to compost online! Some that I’ve seen and used are:
I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my composting journey. Will be an interesting one!
4. SNACK BAGS
I also wrote an Instagram post recently about a step that I take when reducing waste with regards to snacks on the go. I like to always take snacks with me when I leave the house and pack them up into my Stasher Bag! It’s the best! Fits super easy in my bag.
Not an ad! It’s just a true tip that has really helped me reduce eating out, thus reducing food waste. I also then have something to take any leftovers in…in case I do end up eating out and have finished my snacks. I like food, nom nom nom… Just less take out packaging and I’ll be able to have my leftovers later :)
I love juicing!! It’s such an easy (and healthy) way to use up any remaining veggies or fruit you might have that are about to go bad. We did invest in a juicer earlier this year and have used it at least three to four times a week, so totally worth it.
You can create a variety of juice recipes that would use up your remaining produce. If you just Google different juice options, you’ll find lots of inspo!
That wraps up my food waste tips for now! I’m sure we’ll be revising this topic again VERY soon.
For any inquiries, reach out to Tiff at: