Why Does It Matter?
October in Indiana is a wonderful time of year, isn’t it? The chill in the air, outdoor fall festivals, apple picking, bonfires, tailgating, Halloween, and the beginning of the baking season are super opportunities for making memories without making trash.
A lot of us are starting to spend a little more time in the kitchen and a little less time grilling. So we thought this would be a great time to talk about food waste; what to do with it and how to prevent it.
Food waste makes up about 12% of our waste stream so there is plenty of opportunity to make an impact on your waste generation just by thinking about what foods you buy, use and throw away. Keep reading to learn more about simple steps you can take to reduce the amount of food waste you generate.
What Should You Do?
Meal Planning: This step alone can make the biggest impact on how much waste you make and can save your family money. The first thing to consider is how many people you will be feeding and how hungry they are going to be. Keep in mind the age, size, and male vs. female ratio when planning your meals as well as the time of day you will be feeding them.
PreCycle: When you head to the store to make your food purchases, choose items that have no packaging (fruits and veggies), low amounts of packaging, or packaging that has been recycled and can be recycled again. Most cardboard or paperboard boxes, steel and aluminum cans and glass jars are made with recycled materials and can be recycled again. Don’t forget to take your reusable grocery bag to use at checkout!
Reduce Your Party Wasteline: So you’ve planned your meal, purchased the food in an earth friendly fashion, and now it’s time to party! Here are some great ideas for that, too:
· Use real plates, flatware, glasses and cloth napkins. Sure, it may take more work, but it will be so worth it in the end. Plus, think of the class it will bring to your party.
· Make sure your recycling bins are visible to guests and well-labeled.
· Consider reusing materials for party decorations
· Compost your food scraps
This month we are focusing on the issue of food waste. Our next article will outline the basics of vermicomposting—that’s using redworms to compost your food scraps instead of sending them to the landfill. It’s easier than you might think. You won’t want to miss it!
Click here for a great “how-to” video about composting!