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How to Avoid Food Waste in The Kitchen?

Food waste is a terrible thing and one that can cause significant issues for us financially and also the environment. Here are some ways to cut down on it.

1. Switch from Paper Towels to Reusable Cloth or Towels

While paper towels may seem classy in the kitchen, they only add up to the amount of waste you'll have at the end of the day. Replacing these with reusable cloth or towel provides a better way to reduce waste in the kitchen. You could turn to old cloths or towels for this purpose, or simply buy new ones from the nearest store. These towels last remarkably long hence value for money too.

2. Buy Food Products in Bulk

Buying kitchen products in bulk will not only reduce the need for packaging materials but also save you money as well. All you need to do is note down commonly used items and foods in the kitchen, then make way to the closest wholesale store or supermarket. Try batch cooking and freezing meals to reduce waste. Using leftovers smartly is a great way forward – for example if you’ve extra bread, why not make a bread and butter pudding, or extra hamburgers can result in Hamburger soup – it is a cheap easy meal. You can take this a notch higher by bringing large jars and bags with you whenever going for produce and grocery shopping.

3. Bring Reusable Bags with You

Bringing reusable bags with you to the supermarket or whenever going for grocery shopping will help reduce the number of plastic bags that end up in the landfill. Making this a habit, and telling the attendants not to pack anything in plastic bags, unless necessary, will also help lower waste disposal significantly. If you had to take a plastic bag for one reason or another, you could take them back to the store for recycling, or simply used them as trashcan liners.

4. Recycle Anything You Can

Almost everything in the kitchen can be recycled. This ranges from glass, cardboard, paper, and even plastics.  You, however, need to know how these items can be recycled before taking on the initiative.  Cartons used to package things like wine, coconut water, juice, milk, soups, broths, tomato juice, beans, and creamer can be recycled into chemical-free and environmentally friendly paper products/ building materials.

Check to see if there's a carton recycling plant in your area. More and more recycling plants are being set up every day to encourage people to recycle commodities they don’t use. Use the zip code locator to find a local program near you.

5. Only Go for Eco-Friendly Packaging

Always look for products packaged with recyclable and biodegradable materials to reduce waste even farther. Identify products packed with the eco-friendliest packaging too. This way, you'll never have to deal with lots of waste materials in the kitchen and house in general.

6. Only Shop for What You Need

While you may be spoilt for choice in the grocery store and supermarket, it would be best if you only bought what you needed in the store. Self-control will help minimize the risk of buying more than you need and even save you some money in the process. Proper meal planning is essential too. Get to know the foods you'll need for the week, then shop for those alone. Emotional shopping almost always results in impulse buying which wastes not only resources but also means more will go to the landfills.

7. Use Reusable Containers to Store Food

Although Ziplock bags, foil, and plastic wraps come in handy in the kitchen, you might want to consider larger reusable alternatives for the same. Some of these include reusable wraps, jars, bags, and plastic containers to store your food. These will serve an almost similar purpose only that you can use them over and over again.

8. Grow Your Own Food

There are numerous ways in which you can grow your food. You don’t necessarily require a large farm to do this. Planters can be used to grow almost everything from spinach, carrots, tomatoes, onions and everything else you might need. The best thing with growing food is that you get to enjoy it fresh and free from possible chemicals used in commercial farming. You can do this as a hobby too.

9. Learn to Preserve Your Food

Preserving food, either in the refrigerator or cans, can see you through many difficult times while cutting down on waste. Some of the best, and recommended, ways to preserve food include freezing, fermenting, dehydrating, and canning. Learn to turn excess tomatoes into sauce or juice, and even cucumbers to pickles. Be sure to follow safe food preservation techniques to keep your family safe.

10. Donate or Trade it off

Did you make more soup than you needed? Or maybe you had a bumper harvest from the garden and not sure where to take the excesses. Sharing the food with a neighbor, or even your mom across the street would be a thoughtful thing to do. That neighbor too could be having lots of eggs or anything else to trade-off with too. Do not let anything you have worked hard for go to waste. If you can't find someone to trade with, give it out for free. Just be sure to give someone that needs it.



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