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Save the Earth by Reducing Food Waste

Wong Shu Lee  

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  April 22, 2021

“Globally, if food waste could be represented as its own country, it would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the US” – United Nations Environment

 

Food waste is a massive environmental issue. Food that is never eaten or used still has environmental costs — from the land and resources used to make the food to the transporting of ingredients to stores. In the spirit of Earth Day, let’s learn what we can do to reduce our food waste to help the planet. 

 

#1 Check your fridge before shopping. 

 

Most of the time, food waste happens simply because we forget what we’ve already bought and buy new food instead of using up leftovers. Moving forward, give leftovers priority and start your meal plan based around what you have. 

 

To make this easier, always label and date leftovers (keep a sharpie and masking tape around for this purpose) so you can quickly see what's in your fridge, judge if it's still good, and find fun ways to use it up! 

 

#2 Make a shopping list. 

 

Before heading to the store, it’s good to do some meal planning, think ahead about what ingredients you need and make a shopping list. By doing this, you can buy the exact right quantity of food for your schedule and save time on cooking throughout the week. Shopping with a list every time is also a great way to save time and money at the store and avoid unhealthy impulse purchases.

 

#3 Store your food properly. 

 

How we store our food determines the lifespan of the food ingredients and products. Store meats and leftovers in the freezer if you’re not eating them within one or two days. If you’re not sure how to extend the life of any food ingredient or product, surf the web for storage guides. 

 

Don’t let your money go to trash in the form of food waste. Let’s ensure all the food that you’ve bought is being consumed, not being thrown. 

 

#4 Fully utilise your food. 

 

We would never buy a pair of socks only to throw out one of them but that’s sadly how we often treat vegetables and fruits. From carrot tops to broccoli stems to leek greens, how often do you use every piece of the produce that you pay for? How much of your grocery bill are you throwing away? 

 

 

The video above demonstrates creative ways to upcycle your citrus peels. Next time, before you throw away your stems, leaves, peels and scraps, rethink how you can use them to maximise the economic benefits. Once you start thinking this way, the challenge of keeping food from going to waste stops being overwhelming and starts becoming exciting and empowering! 

 

Reducing food waste is one of the most impactful ways to help the environment. Let’s do our part to protect the earth from climate change! 

 

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