Reducing food waste in IrelandFood Waste Reduction: Save Money & Benefit the Environment

Food Waste Reduction is not only important for ethical and environmental reasons, but it’s also a great way to save money. If you’ve been tossing scraps straight into the general waste bin, you’re not alone, but there are better options available. Composting is one of them. It lets you convert your food waste into nutrient-rich soil, which can be used to grow more food or improve the health of your garden.

Achieving your goal of cutting down food waste will require a mix of planning, conservation, and mindfulness. Here’s a guide on how to make it happen:

Plan Your Meals

Start with a meal plan. By only buying what you need, you can ensure that you use all the food you purchase. Before you head to the grocery store, check your pantry and fridge. Make a shopping list based on what you already have and what you need for your planned meals.

Smart Shopping

Buy in bulk where possible, but be realistic about what you will use. Avoid promotions on perishable items unless you’re certain they won’t go to waste. If you often find yourself throwing out food, consider shopping for fresh produce more frequently and in smaller quantities.

Store Food Correctly

Proper storage extends the life of your food. Learn the ideal storage methods for different food types. For example, potatoes last longer in a cool, dark place, while herbs can be treated like flowers and kept in a glass of water.

Use Leftovers

Creativity is key when it comes to leftovers. Don’t be afraid to mix and match leftover ingredients into new meals. If you cook too much, portion the extra and freeze it for later.

Compost Your Scraps

Set up a composting system to handle unavoidable waste, such as vegetable peelings or coffee grounds. Over time, the composted material will turn into a soil amendment that can enrich your garden, supporting the circular economy.

Practice FIFO

Use the “First In, First Out” principle. When unpacking groceries, move older products to the front of your fridge or cupboard, and put new products at the back. This makes you more likely to use up the older items before they expire.

Monitor What You Throw Away

Keep track of what you throw out. This will help you understand your food waste habits and see where you can make changes. Maybe you’re buying too many fresh fruits or vegetables, or perhaps you need to adjust portion sizes when cooking.

Share Excess Food

If you have food you can’t use, share it. Apps and community groups exist to share food with neighbours. Not only does this reduce waste, but it also builds community ties.

Implementing these practices may require some changes to your daily habits, but they can lead to significant reductions in food waste, helping you to save money and lessen your impact on the planet. Remember, every little bit counts when it comes to sustainability.

Remember, no action is too small when it comes to reducing food waste. Start small, build your habits, and be part of a community striving for a healthier environment and a better tomorrow.