Today I am cleaning out the fridge like I do every Wednesday – garbage day. I am astounded at how much food is wasted each week. I decided I needed to make some changes so that we weren’t wasting so much food. I needed to come up with a plan. What could we do as a family to reduce trash?
Back in January my husband and I made a New Year’s resolution to create meal plans every week. We stuck with it for a long time, and really noticed a difference with our budget. I quickly saw a decrease in the amount of food we threw away each week. Having a grocery list with only necessities ensured we weren’t buying too much food. I only bought enough food for the week, that way the food was fresh, and didn’t have a chance to expire. As I got lazy with our meal plan, so did my grocery lists. I started stocking up on whatever I wanted that day, without putting much thought in to what I was buying. Slowly our trash started to build. I intend to sit down and write up a meal plan for the week so that I can start cutting down on our trash immediately.
Another way to reduce waste is to use leftovers. I would usually cook enough each meal to either freeze an additional meal or have enough left over for lunch the next day. This way we were consuming everything we cooked. It was great having meals made ahead in the freezer for days I didn’t feel like cooking. Instead of just grabbing bits at the grocery store I could just unthaw a meal and cut down on non essentials. Leftovers are a big hit with my family too, they don’t mind eating the same meal the next day for lunch. I try to mix it up a bit too if I can so it doesn’t get too repetitive. If we ate roast beef the night before, I would make sandwiches the next day for lunch. I found that a lot of the waste was leftover food so this should help minimize that.
Other ways I can help reduce the waste in my household is to start composting. This is something I have never done before so I have been researching the best way to get started. Composting takes kitchen scrapes and turns it into a soil enhancer. You can compost anything from tea bags (which I use a lot of) egg shells, vegetables and much more. Looking at what we throw out each day, we could definitely cut down on our trash just be adding a compost in our yard. If this is something you are interested in doing, there are a lot of websites that can teach you how to start. Check out Home Depots easy guide for beginners.
These are my tips to eliminate garbage in our home. There are however, many other ways we can help the environment, maybe a future blog post in the making. What ways do you and your family eliminate waste?