5 Ways to Decrease Food Waste

Last week, I read not one, but two articles on the top ways we, as ordinary people, could help decrease global warming.

Boy, was I surprised to learn that the NUMBER THREE thing we could do was decrease our food waste. I’m a big fan of composting, but according to Project Drawdown, an organization that ranked the top ways we can mitigate the effects of global warming, composting is only the 60th best method for solving the problem.

It turns out that paying attention to how much food we waste is a much better way of helping the planet, as composting can give you a false sense of doing good while still letting you chuck a good bit of food waste into the bin.

I’ve followed YouTuber Debt Kickin’ Mom for awhile, and I’m always inspired by her videos of her ZeroWaste food plan for her family of six. Basically, she buys just enough to last her family for the week, with only a few leftovers. She even tries to eat up everything in her freezer in a week or two, which apparently is a really smart strategy, as people throw a ton of frozen-over freezer goods out after they’ve been sitting in the back of the freezer for six months (guilty on that front! So guilty!).

I’m going to be completing a challenge to drastically decrease our food waste this month, so in the spirit of getting ready for that, here are some ways that I’ve researched and implemented in the past to decrease our food waste.

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Curbside Composting: Guest Post on Tread Lightly, Retire Early

I don’t talk a lot about environmental matters on this blog, but getting better with money has definitely made me think more about making waste, and my family’s impact on the earth over the years.

Angela from Tread Lightly, Retire Early offered to share our story about bringing curbside compost to our town in New Hampshire and I thought other people would want to hear how we got it set up.

Curbside compost is a service that picks up your leftover food scraps and composts them for you in an industrial facility, then brings compost back to you. It was great for my family because we could compost all of our food scraps, even meat, without worrying about bears, or composting during the winter.

Angela’s blog focuses on ways you can lessen your impact on the planet and create financial independence. Check out her personal finance roundups on Wednesdays and her Frugal Five features on Fridays, in addition to posts about the intersection of the environment and finances.

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Can You Shop Zero Waste and Be Frugal?

I discovered the Zero Waste movement, like so many others, when I stumbled on Béa Johnson’s blog, Zero Waste Home. Zero Wasters try to purchase and create as little trash as possible. People like Bea, who really originated the movement, get so good at it they can put all of the trash they generate in a year in a mason jar–everything else is refused, reused,reduced, recycled, or rotted, in that order.

The movement is super inspiring. Paying attention to how much trash you purchase and/or generate gets you thinking about how much waste we, as a society, generate. Zero wasters freely admit that for most people, creating no trash is really hard, if not impossible. The idea is to reduce as much as possible the amount of trash you create, to really think about what you purchase and be creative about ways of buying stuff with less packaging.

The biggest place you can make a difference in the amount of waste you make is at the grocery store.

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