Simple ways to combat food waste at home

Food waste is a major contributing factor to rising carbon emissions. 7.6 million tonnes of food is wasted in Australia every year, and Australian households account for a majority of this.

Here’s a few staggering stats:

  • Food waste costs the economy around $36.6 billion or $2,000 to $2,500 per household per year.
  • 70% of the 7.6 million tonnes of food wasted in Australia every year is edible.
  • Australian households throw away around one in five bags of groceries, equal to around 312kg per person.
  • Global food waste is responsible for approximately 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions
  • Almost half of all fruit and vegetables produced are wasted.
  • Reducing food waste is the 3rd most effective way to address climate change.
  • There is enough food produced in the world to feed everyone.
  • 1 in 6 adults go hungry regularly in Australia

Is food waste something you’re trying to be more conscious of at home? There are a few quick and easy things you can do to do your bit to combat food waste.

1. Meal Plan

By planning your meals ahead of time, you can be sure to only buy what you need so nothing goes to waste. Make a list of recipes you plan on making for the week, and plan your grocery shop ahead of time so you know exactly what you need to buy and how much. Not only will this save unessecary waste, but it will also help your wallet!

2. Store Food Properly

The most commonly wasted household food is fresh fruit and vegetables. Fresh fruit and vegetables can perish quickly if not stored correctly, so it’s important to learn how to properly store your food to help it last longer and save it from the bin! Here is a guide from Sustainability Victoria for the best ways to store fruit and vegetables. Simple things like wrapping herbs in a wet towel before refrigerating, knowing what to store on a counter or in the fridge can be helpful to save your fresh fruit and vegetables.

Food Waste

3. Use it up

So you’ve stored your fruit and vegetables correctly, but they’re inevitably reaching the end of their life in the fridge or counter. Be proactive with the stock of fruit and vegetable on hand, and plan a meal to use up these items, or find a way to use them in your meal plans. This could mean extending the life of your fruit or veg by pickling or preserving into jams or sauces, or add them to tonight’s pasta, roast or casserole.

4. Start Home Compost

Options for home composting are more accessible than ever, whether you live in an apartment or have more space. You could also look into composting options in your local community, these could include rubbish collection services or community gardens. Not only does composting help reduce the amount of food waste in landfill, but it will also be beneficial for your own home garden, or you could gift your compost to friends with more of a green thumb.

Food Waste

5. Get creative with leftovers

Bored of your leftovers? Re-create them into something more delicious! Have a spaghetti sauce leftover? Turn it into tacos! Have some leftover roast veggies? Turn them into a delicious frittata! There are so many ways to make a creative spin on your leftovers to prolong the life of your meals and food to prevent it from going in the bin.

Make the most of your fruit and vegetables from your local fruit and veg shop this week and every week and make a mindful effort to reduce the amount of food waste in your home to help you, your wallet, your community and the planet.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your meals this week, take a look through some of our recipes for more ideas to meal plan or use up your fruit and veg!

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