There are so many ways you can try to cut waste in the kitchen, besides just watching how much food you waste. Have you taken a look at how much is thrown in the garbage can in your kitchen daily? I know some people who have to take out their garbage every night. Every night! That means 7 bags of garbage per week!
We aren’t perfect, and are working on cutting down the waste in our kitchen on a daily basis. But as of now, we typically have only 2-3 garbage bags per week for our entire home. This includes the trash from the office, bathrooms, kitchen, bedrooms, cat litter, everything! And we are still working on ways to cut that down even more.
Most household waste comes from the kitchen, from what I have noticed. Think about it, how many things do you throw away when you are preparing a meal?
Here are just a few of the many ways that you and your family can work on cutting down the waste that your home produces:
- Many things get thrown in the trash that can be recycled, such as glass, paper towel rolls, cereal boxes, etc.
- Check with your local recycle collection on what can be recycled in your area and how to properly separate.
- Items with foods on it, such as pizza boxes, can not usually be recycled.
- Don’t “shop” for trash
- Stop buying plastic cups, paper plates, paper towels, plastic silverware, etc.
- You are spending money on something that will be used once and thrown away.
- These usually have packaging that is thrown in the trash and then the product is thrown away.
- Buy in bulk
- Buy in bulk, but only if you will use it all before it goes bad.
- Buying in bulk means less packaging that has to be discarded.
- Make sure it isn’t individually packaged within the bulk packaging, because that doesn’t help.
- Reusable grocery bags
- You can buy all kinds of reusable grocery bags, and get them at almost any grocery store.
- There are even options for reusable produce bags instead of the plastic ones at the store.
- I just learned the other day that we can recycle all the plastic bags from the grocery store. I usually use my cloth bags, but when I forget, I at least know I can throw these bags in the recycle bin which is better than nothing.
- Leftover containers
- When you go out to eat, bring your own leftover containers.
- Styrofoam does not break down, and can be bulky.
- No plastic straws
- When eating out, ask the waiter/waitress not to bring you a straw.
- Invest in a set of stainless steel straws that you can keep with you.
- Smaller portions
- If you eat smaller portions, you are likely to have less wasted food.
- Eating smaller portions is also good for your body.
- Avoid single-serving packages
- Similar to shopping for trash, you are spending money on something that will be discarded.
- Single-serving items include juice boxes, individual yogurt cups, single-serve coffee cups, etc.
- Start a garden
- Start a garden to grow your own food so you can harvest only what you will eat.
- Use kitchen scraps in your garden to grow new food from old food.
- Use the compost you are accumulating to help fertilize the garden.
- Food storage
- Learn how to properly store food so it stays fresh longer.
- Find other ways to use food that has gone bad, such as banana bread for overripe bananas.
Check out the No Waste Meal Plan for a way to cut out any wasted food in the kitchen by following my 4 week plan for dinners, including grocery lists and recipes for each week.