About 130 million meals are wasted every year and about $408 billion is squandered because food is thrown away. The highest priority of the Food Recovery Hierarchy is “Source Reduction and Reuse.” This level of the hierarchy focuses on limiting food waste from an early stage of the food waste disposal process. Food scraps and meal leftovers can be saved through repurposing, crafting and by being creative in the kitchen.
One major way to not waste food is to plan your weekly meals and make a grocery list before going food shopping. This way you stay focused and have a plan when you’re purchasing what you’ll need for the week.
Additionally, donating your food waste to local food shelters and food banks is a good way to give back to your community. Agri-Cycle Energy prides itself on food donations to local food donation centers.
Repurpose your food
Beyond meal prepping and food donation, you can try to repurpose your food scraps into cleaning products and plant food. Here are a few ways you can repurpose your food waste:
- Citrus peels and coffee grounds – use to eliminate trash or compost odors
- Squeezed lemon halves – scrub oven or other kitchen appliances to make them shiny
- Avocado pits, lettuce clippings and green onions – plant these at home to grow your own
- Egg shells – wash, dry, crumble and sprinkle egg shells onto rhododendrons, hydrangeas, or berry plants for an added calcium boost
- Fruit peels and scraps – boil fruit peels, stems and seeds in a pot of boiling water to make your kitchen smell fragrant and delicious.
- Coffee grounds – use coffee grounds as a natural fertilizer in your garden to attract friendly earthworms!
- Pumpkin – make dog treats by mixing canned pumpkin, peanut butter and oats together and then baking it. Wooooof!
Extra time on the weekend? Try out these crafts to repurpose your food waste!
- Sugar coffee scrub – make your own shower scrub to remove dead skin and other gunk from your skin by mixing coconut oil, brown sugar and coffee grounds together in a bowl
- Potatoes – carve potatoes with a kitchen knife and apply ink or paint to create a fun stamp
- Herbs – dry extra herbs to create a heavenly herb sachet that you give as a gift or put in your clothes’ dresser
- Corn – create a corn wreath just in time to decorate for fall!
Get creative in the kitchen
Don’t have time to grocery shop, but need a snack? Use these recipes to think outside the box to use EVERYTHING that is in your fridge!
- Carrot tops – make carrot top pesto for your next pasta night
- Pickled Watermelon Rind – Save your watermelon rinds from your most recent beach day and pickle them, yum!
- Stale bread – made into breadcrumbs or croutons
- Wilted vegetables – rinse them in cold water and toss them in a curry, stir fry or soup
- Bad wine – use to create your own homemade vinegar
- Lemon peels/cucumbers/apple peels – add to water to naturally flavor your H20
- Type all the ingredients you have into ChatGPT and it will produce a recipe for you to follow for your next meal!
If this blog got you interested in learning more about sustainable solutions to your commercial food waste, we can help. At Agri-Cycle, we’re proud to help businesses (and cities) throughout the northeast – from Maine to Maryland – find better ways of dealing with and reducing their food waste. Contact us to take your food full circle by getting a quote or calling us at 1-800-850-9560.
If you live between Maine and Maryland, you can bring them to your local Agri-Cycle drop-off site.