5 tips to end food waste

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Would you throw $2,000 into the garbage? The average Canadian family throws away 20% of all food purchased, wasting hard-earned income and contributing to environmental problems related to waste.* The problem of food waste can be seen at all levels of the food chain, from production to the consumer.

Have you ever asked yourself what can you do to reduce food waste? Here’s a list of 5 tips that will help you reduce food waste at your home!

 

1.Plan your shopping

Before going grocery shopping, check what food you already have at home. Go through your fridge and pantry to plan your weekly meals. Then, write a list of the items that you still need to buy.

While, at the grocery store, avoid throwing random food in your shopping cart since this would increase the probability for it to end up in the trash bin.

 

2. Check the dates

While strolling around in grocery store, take some time to check the expiry date on the items you are buying. If you are planning to have meat on the same day you are purchasing it, then you can look for meat which is close to its expiration date. By doing so, you would lower the chances for it to be thrown away by the grocery itself in case nobody else buys it.

On the other hand, if it’s still the beginning of the week and you are planning to organize a barbecue over the weekend, then you should make sure that the meat you are buying has a longer expiry date.

 

3. Avoid overpurchasing

The lure of buying items in bulk at a lower cost can be very attractive to families that are trying to save money. But we have to be real with ourselves, are we ever going to need 2 liters of mayonnaise? If the food ends up going bad you end up losing money instead of saving.

 

4. Donate to the local Food Bank

It sad when you think about all the food waste, yet there are still millions families that are struggling to put food on their tables. If you have unused items in your pantry consider donating it to a food bank. There are even centers that will take surplus from your vegetable garden.

 

5. Feed your garden

A lot of food waste still ends up in the landfill each year. Composting reduces the amount of waste you put out for collection and creates a free, nutritious fertilizer that will help make your garden more beautiful. Compost your kitchen and garden waste. Everything from uncooked vegetable scraps to fruit peelings, teabags, coffee grounds, eggshells and small amounts of paper and soft cardboard can be composted.

These small changes to your shopping, meal planning, and eating routines can have a huge impact on your family budget, stress level, and the environment.

 

*Source : CBC News, 2013

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About the Author
Prabhjit K. Banga

Prabh’s environmental journey began in 1992 when she discovered a passion for green living after watching the cartoon movie, Ferngully: The Last Rainforest. Since then she has been an avid environmentalist for over 20 years, cultivating sustainability within her own personal and professional life. She went on to complete her Master in Resource and Environmental Management from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. During her Master’s degree, Prabh worked on policy oriented research on sustainability reporting frameworks, community based social marketing, resource efficiency and waste management practices. Prabh is currently the Manager of Strategy Development & Corporate Sustainability at Toronto Pearson Airport. Prabh leads the development and delivery of the airport’s sustainability strategy. Prabh enjoys reading and writing about the environment and loves to share her tips and passion for living sustainably.

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