Fruit spread with bananas, strawberries, pineapple and oranges with a smoothie cup

5 Ways to Reduce Your Food Waste Besides Composting

When I think about reducing the environmental impact of my clients’ events and businesses, the first thing that comes to mind is reducing waste. First and foremost, is how much trash can we divert from the garbage bin, then the recycling bin and finally the green or organics bin. 

But how the heck can we reduce food waste and loss besides composting?

1. Buy Less Food

To waste less food, buy only what you need so there’s less food to actually discard. Start with meal planning and/or a grocery list. And never shop on an empty stomach. 

Buying less = wasting less.

Climate tally with a woman holding up a sign that says less is more. It's eco-logical.

2. Proper Food Storage and Freezing

With the food you already have or that you choose to buy, extend the life of the items by storing it properly. Did you know that there’s actually best practices onn where to store specific types of food in your fridge? Check out the image below and this post for reference.

For foods that you’re not going to consume right away, place in the freezer. For example, I never ever eat my berries quickly enough so I buy them when in season and freeze them right away.

Proper food storage in fridge diagram from the City of Toronto

3. Reuse Scraps

Rather than throwing your vegetable and fruit scraps into your organics bin right away, collect them in a plastic baggie, glass jar or silicone bag in the freezer. 

Once you’re ready to re-use the scraps, throw them into a smoothie for added nutrients or maybe collect vegetable scraps to make your own veggie broth. Check out this recipe here. 

You can also do the same with bones from meats — store them separately in your freezer and when ready, make your own bone broth.

Three bowls of broth set on a cutting board surrounded by veggies such as carrots, celery and ginger root

4. Have a ‘USE ME FIRST’ Bin

Ever find a half-wrapped lemon that’s gone mouldy from the back of your fridge? Or that icky juice from dying lettuce in your produce drawer? Yeah.. me too.

One way to avoid this is to put a ‘Use Me First’ bin in your fridge. Ensure that it’s a clear bin, placed near the front of your fridge so that you can see it. Then put all foods that are half used or easily perishable items into it. This will help keep all these foods top of mind and you’ll know what you need to use up before it goes bad and thus reducing your food waste. 

Clear rectangular box container fruits like pears and apples

5. Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting, what the heck is that?

Vermicomposting: is the product of the decomposition process using various species of worms, usually red wigglers, white worms, and other earthworms, to create a mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast

The vermicast aka worm poop is great plant fertilizer (for all those fellow plant parents out there!). 

As a recent owner of a worm bin myself, it’s a great alternative for those of us who live in buildings that don’t collect or have a green or organics bin. You’re both reducing your own food waste and diverting it away from the landfill. 

Really it’s a win-win situation. You’re reducing your food waste while simultaneously creating fertilizer for your plants. Selfishly, this is why I started my worm bin, to create an all-in-one ecosystem for my plants…

There you have it. 5 various methods to try and reduce your food waste rather than just composting. 

  1. Buy Less
  2. Proper Food Storage and Freezing
  3. Reuse Scraps
  4. Have a ‘USE ME FIRST’ Bin
  5. Vermicomposting 

Let us know what you will be trying to reduce your food waste! Better yet, joining the Sustainability Mastermind as we develop new, lifelong habits to reduce our environmental impact both in our day-to-day and businesses.

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