According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, nearly 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted globally each year. So, it is a sign for you to start reducing your food waste because it will have a huge impact on the environment.
By handling food scraps in the proper ways, you are not only reducing the carbon footprint impact but also restoring the nutrients to the soil. In addition, seeing as they are recyclable, they should be used appropriately to reduce potent greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide from landfills.
Although you may think that it is just food scraps, you have to ask yourself what should you do with food waste other than throw it in the bin? That is where we step in with these environmental-friendly ways to handle your food scraps.
Turn It into Smoothies
Who does not love a tasty homemade smoothie? If you have rotting fruits and vegetables in your kitchen that you would typically discard, consider making smoothies out of them. You need an easy-to-use juicer, liquid base, any fruits or vegetables, and some thickener to make your smoothie.
A trick for you to thicken the smoothie’s consistency is to freeze the food that you will use before making it. For the liquid base, it is up to you whether you use plain water or any dairy milk. The same goes for the thickener, where it can either be some cooked oatmeal, ice cubes, or Greek yogurt.
Grow Your Vegetables
With proper handling, you can regrow vegetables from your vegetable scraps rather than adding to your food waste. Some of them are carrots, cabbage, and garlic. Just make sure that you provide them with enough water and sunlight- in no time, you will have your stocks of vegetables.
There are many benefits to growing your food. But first, you need to decide what fertilizers you use and whether you can get them fresh. Apart from that, it will help you cut some costs when grocery shopping.
Try Guerilla Composting
Composting is a great way to use your food leftovers and reduce food waste. These scraps and other organic materials create a natural fertilizer to nourish the soil. In general, there are two types of composting: using the compost bin or the guerilla composting method.
Composting is one of the most eco friendly ways to divert organic material and waste towards a good cause. You can see if community composting is something you can try to do, since there is for sure other yard waste around your community.
If you aren’t a fan of compost buckets, then guerilla composting is a method to compost your kitchen food waste without using the trash bin. It is easy and does not require any other equipment aside from a shovel for digging purposes and a suitable area or backyard at your home.
Below are the steps that you can follow:
Sort your greens (fruits and vegetables) and organic waste from your dry waste. If you have extra space, keep them inside the fridge until you have enough food scraps.
Choose a place for you to dig. The hole should be big and deep enough to fit your food waste. Remember to leave some room to fill in the soil to cover the hole.
Pour in all the food waste you have collected, cover the hole with soil, and voila! You are done.
If you think that guerilla composting is too much of a hassle, you can dispose of your household waste at any organic waste recycling center. This way, you can include other organic waste such as eggshells, fruit and vegetable scraps, as well as yard waste like branches and fallen leaves.
Donate Waste To Feed Animals
Look for gardeners or farm owners, who can use the waste to feed their farm animals, or for their own composting.
Nutrient rich compost is something every gardener and farm owner should be doing to some degree, so try and find willing takers around your surrounding countryside.
Make More Food
Recycling food waste is not only about disposing of your food, but you can also use your food scraps to make more food. Here as some ideas for you to try:
Making flavored soup is the tastiest way to reuse your food waste. All you need to do is boil the carrot peels, celery top, and potato skin in the water, add some salt according to your taste, and you can enjoy your homemade soup.
Bone broth can sometimes be a bit pricey. However, you can make your homemade bone broth using the leftover bone to save money. First, put roasted bones in a large pot and submerge them with water. Let it simmer and cook for 24-48 hours. Then, strain the broth with a mesh sieve, put it in a jar, and keep it in the fridge.
Fruit Peel Jam
Making a jam is the easiest way to recycle food waste. It only requires a few ingredients such as apricot peels, strawberry tops, and apple peels. To make one, boil the ingredients for 25 to 30 minutes. Then, strain the peels while boiling sugar and lemon juice. Lastly, you can store them in a jar to be consumed later.
Reuse Your Coffee Grounds
Regardless of the brand of your home coffee machine, having a cup of coffee daily can create a lot of food waste. The main concern is that coffee grounds can contaminate other recycling items.
As for the coffee pods, the cups are mixed material which means that before they are recycled, they would have to be separated into plastic and foil.
The simplest thing to do with the leftover grounds is to put them in the garden, diverting organic waste.
Coffee grounds contain essential minerals that help you grow your garden by enriching the soil with essential organic matters.
They can also chase pests away like snails and slugs from destroying your garden. Namely, it is a good way to recycle organic materials.
In addition, coffee ground attracts worms which may lead to worm composting. It is a method where the worms are used to recycle food scraps and organic materials into vermicompost, often known as worm compost.
The food scraps eaten by the worms decompose as they move through the worm’s digestive tract. Then, the compost exits the worm through the tail end.
Make Your Own Beauty Products
Another eco-friendly method to recycle food waste is to make beauty products out of them.
You can reuse the fruit scraps in different ways. For instance, the juice from an unused part of a lemon contains acid that can brighten your fingernails.
If you are a skincare lover, you can also use the coffee ground as an exfoliator for your face and body. Just mix them with a little bit of water and some coconut oil.
The grounds do not dissolve in water which makes it efficient in removing any dead skin cells. Not only does it help you save money, but you can also get glowing skin!
Find a Town Solid Waste Facility
A lot of towns have an organized pickup service, otherwise you’ll have to drop your kitchen waste, and organic matter in person. It’s a great money saver that will help you divert waste correctly.
Handling your food scraps may sound insignificant, but it is a powerful action to help the environment. It is also important to properly dispose of your organic waste to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
There are different ways to manage food waste, and it works differently for everybody. So, make sure to find one that works best for you.
It is a great excuse to help the environment while finding use for your waste.
A bit funny, a bit whacky. Lots of curiosity, lots of creativity. All for organic, minimalism and local. More of zero waste, more for our future 🌿