Surely you’re familiar with that old saying “Waste not, want not.” Almost just as surely, you don’t consistently adhere to the wisdom of this old adage. Americans are notorious for wasting food, we throw away 40 percent of the food produced in this country. While you would think that restaurants and institutions would be the ones tossing the most out, it turns out that most of America’s food waste is generated right in our very own homes.
Why is this? Well, partially this trend can be attributed to our tendency to buy more than we actually eat. Sometimes though things just disappear mysteriously into that dark back corner of the fridge. Other times we just aren’t sure how to properly store certain foods and, as a result, they go bad more quickly than they should.
Despite our shortcomings in the United States, most of these habits of food loss are an easy fix. Help your wallet and our environment by getting creative with your food scraps. No longer will you have food waste. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your path to food waste reduction.
1. Dry Bread
Dry bread is most definitely not wasted food. In fact, it is the perfect excuse to add breadcrumbs to your next dish. Just grind up your dry bread in a food processor and store food in an airtight container.
2. Watermelon Rinds
Sure, the pink part of the watermelon is your favorite, but that’s only because you haven’t tried the rind yet. Watermelon rind makes excellent, tangy pickles that can be added to your tuna, chicken, or fresh green salads. Just plan to make this a few days ahead.
Get a recipe here.
FUN FACT: did you know that drinking hot liquids when it's hot out can actually help cool you down by triggering the sweat response of your body? 💦 . So I'm not COMPLETELY crazy to be drinking hot bone broth on a day that easily broke 90 🤷🏼♀️☀️🔥 . But why am I drinking this? Well, I always tend to get sick right as I go on vacation but this time I'm saying NOT TODAY 🙅🏼 with this super immunity drink ☕️ . And if you want to join me before the holiday weekend, I'm sharing the recipe 👇🏻 . TURMERIC-GINGER BONE BROTH TEA: 1.5 cups water 1 packet @vitalproteins bone broth collagen 1" ginger knob, peeled 1/2 lemon, sliced 1/2 tsp turmeric 1/2 tsp black pepper . INSTRUCTIONS: Place all ingredients into a pot, bring to a boil, strain, drink, and (hopefully) don't get sick! 🤞🏻
Leftover bones are the key ingredient in homemade stocks and broths. Especially if you like bone broth, making your own will save you a pretty penny and the result will be that much fresher.
4. Cucumber Peels
Cucumbers can flavor your water, but the leftover peels are also great to toss into the bath water to help soothe itches and irritation.
5. Citrus Peels
Besides being delicious when they’re candied, citrus peels are also an easy solution to freshen up your kitchen. Just throw them down the garbage disposal and grind up. They’ll leave your kitchen smelling deliciously fresh.
Get a recipe for candied orange peels here.
6. Apple Peels
My Jedi knife training is coming around. . . . #starwars #starwarsedc #knivesandtoys #knivesandstarwars #slipjoint #slipjointparadigm #pocketknife #jackknife #obiwankenobi #oldbenkenobi #benkenobi #jedi #jediknight #jedimaster #greateasterncutlery #dlttrading #knifenut #applepeel #jediknifeskills @dlttrading @greateasterncutlery
Apple peels are great stain removers in the kitchen. The acid in the peels is strong enough to remove stains from pots and pans.
All you have to do is fill the stained pot with water and apple peels before you let it simmer on the stove for 20 to 30 min.
7. Banana Peels
Surprise, surprise. Once you’ve eaten your banana, you can then use the peel to shine your shoes. Just rub the inside of it on the leather and then use a rag to buff off the residue.
8. Leftover Lemons
We are about to be in the heat of the hottest summer days and all I can think about are sweet as sugar summer dresses and ice cold freshly squeezed lemonade. Stay tuned for a thirst quenching lemonade recipe and the perfect dresses to match! . . . . . . . . . . . #bugandbeankids #thatsdarling #littlegirlfashion #letthembelittle #instakids #boutiqueclothing #boutiquefashion #fashionista #kidsstyle #toddlerfashion #kidsofinstagram #fashionblogger #fashionablekids #trendytots #childrensfashion #kidsfashionbrand #kidswear #kidsfashion #kidsclothes #girlsdress #girlsdresses #girlfashion #girlboutique #handmade #shopsmall #girl #lemons #gingham #lemonade #summer
Lemons are great for almost everything. In particular, you can sprinkle a little salt on the sliced side and use them to scrub and sanitize your countertops.
9. Coffee Grounds
Leftover coffee grounds make great beauty products. Because they’re already ground up, they make an excellent exfoliant, and their caffeine content does wonders for tightening your skin.
Learn how to make a coffee scrub here.
A Song Thrush eggshell found at the base of a tree – One of my favourite ever finds. There is a Blackbird nesting in the wisteria outside the living room window at the moment and I’m hoping she will leave me a bit of eggshell somewhere once the eggs hatch. She spent several days building the nest on her own, flying back and forth with giant beak-fulls of grasses, leaves, old flowerheads etc. and has been sitting on the eggs for over a week now. I can’t wait to hear and see the chicks in the garden once the time comes… #fingerscrossed #songthrush #birdeggs #eggshell #oology #britishbirds #birdsofinstagram#ornithology #naturalhistory #nature#walking #summer
Eggshells have so many uses. Among the novel ways in which you can repurpose them is grinding them up into a calcium-rich eggshell powder that you can add to your smoothies.
Or you can use them to start your seeds in. That way you can just plant the whole eggshell with the sprouts and consider it a biodegradable planter.