Waste is a huge pet-peeve of mine. I can’t stand when I see platefuls of food being thrown away, or perfectly useable containers being disposed of. That food could feed several, those items can be repurposed. This issue of mine is more than just personal, waste is a global problem.

With respect to food alone, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) estimates that we waste 33% of food produced globally. Further, global food waste amounts to what some people estimate is enough food to feed 3 billion people. If access to healthy food were increased, 805 million people who are chronically undernourished, and over 2 billion people suffering from micronutrient deficiency, could be fed.

So while I could go on for a long time on how we can reduce, reuse and recycle all the things, I will keep it at food – for now.

Here are 5 ways to kick-start your no-waste movement:

1. Freeze those greens

Image via huffingtonpost.com
Image via huffingtonpost.com

It’s been a week since you hit the grocery store. You go to prepare a quick salad, only to realize that the baby spinach is not looking too fresh. You could throw it out, or you could freeze it. Frozen greens can be fried, juiced, baked – basically anything aside from being eaten fresh.

2. Refrigerated fruits = longer life

Image of Yolanda Foster's fridge via phillyshomes.com
Image of Yolanda Foster’s fridge via phillyshomes.com

Bananas are a finicky bunch: they often take a while to ripen, but once they do you gotta get them before they’re gone. Same goes for avocados. The best way to stagger out the ripening process is to take out what you foresee needing and refrigerate the rest. This will prolong the shelf-life of these items by at least a week.

3. Still can’t fight the connection between fruits and oxygen?

Image via eblogfa.com
Image via eblogfa.com

Are your bananas, apples, berries and pretty much any other fruit about to go bad? Freeze them too! They can be used later for baking delicious pies and pastries (and some guilty can be reduced by knowing you’re fighting the war on waste).

4. Just pickle it!

I do love me some Portlandia. And though taken to an extreme, they do have a point – you CAN pickle that! Almost any veggie can be salvaged by this simple method.

5. Eat leftovers!

Image via blog.trinettereed.com
Image via blog.trinettereed.com

I know, I really shouldn’t have to point this out. But most waste comes from yesterday’s meal. Don’t let it! Brown-bag them for work or school for a free packed lunch. If you don’t want to eat leftovers the day after they’re cooked, freeze and save them for later (just remember to note when you froze them so you can use them up in a timely fashion). Or repurpose leftovers; turn yesterday’s deal into tomorrow’s meal.

Is this something you’re committed to as well? Let us know some of your tips!

Jessica Zita

Jessica maintains a balanced lifestyle through her vegetarianism (with a view to one day being completely vegan), chemical-free beauty regime, and efforts to remain gluten free – all under the umbrella of sustainability. Always a work in progress, follow as she continues to improve her lifestyle and shares lessons along the way.

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