Each year up to 40 percent of food in the United States never gets eaten, translating to $218 billion lost.  This includes wasted water, energy, fertilizers, cropland, and production costs as well as wasted food at the consumer and retail level.

Most Americans don’t realize how much food they toss out each year—an average of 1,000 pounds per family of four, resulting in $1,500 lost according to SaveTheFood.com.

Agriculture also continues to be the biggest contributor to global warming, emitting more greenhouse gases than all our cars, trucks, trains, and planes combined – largely from methane released by cattle and rice farms, nitrous oxide from fertilized fields, and carbon dioxide from the cutting of rain forests to grow crops or raise livestock.

So, what can we do?!

Reduce Your Food Waste
We, as consumers, can make simple changes that make a BIG difference in the amount of food we throw away each year.  Try one or all of these top 6 tips to reduce your food waste!

7 EASY WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR FOOD WASTE|impulse food|ko-ecolife

  • Avoid impulse buys

You’re less likely to eat the items you don’t need.  Stick to ‘the list’!

  • Buy funny-looking produce 7 EASY WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR FOOD WASTE|Imperfect-produce|ko-ecolife

Nature does not naturally produce perfectly shaped, blemish-free fruit and vegetables so why do we expect it?  When you buy the less than perfect ones at a grocery store or farmer’s market, you’re helping reduce food that might otherwise be thrown out.

  • Stock your shelves like the supermarket

Remember FIFO – First In First Out.   When unpacking groceries, move older products to the front of the shelf and put new products in the back. Great way to avoid the dreaded – “is this still good?” question on those post-expiration date foods.

  • Eat leftovers

So easy to forget what’s in that styrofoam container or casserole dish after it gets pushed to the back of the fridge.  If you have leftovers, make sure to put them in an airtight container, preferably glass, at the front of the shelf to reduce food waste.  All containers are NOT created equal so verify that the lids are truly secure and marked as ‘airtight’.  Containers like 7 EASY WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR FOOD WASTE|Glasslock-glass-containers|ko-ecolifeWellbeing Glasslock glass storage with four-sided seals are a good choice for maximum freshness.

  • Take it “to go”

Take your uneaten food at restaurants “to go”.  Bring your own containers to restaurants for7 EASY WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR FOOD WASTE|The-POWCH-reusable-food-pouch-drink-pouch|ko-ecolife|7 EASY WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR FOOD WASTE|ko-ecolife|reusable-food-wrap-bees-wrap-peas left-overs to save food, help with portion control, and avoid wasting the ‘to-go’ container that is usually not even recyclable!  We love Bee’s Wrap reusable food wrap and The POWCH! collapsible food/drink pouch as small, light options.

  • Make a smoothie

7 EASY WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR FOOD WASTE|smoothies|ko-ecolifeSoft fruit and vegetables can be used in smoothies as well as soups and nutritious juice.

If some items just didn’t make it to your mouth and are rotting away…don’t worry!  “Throw them in – the compost bin!”  Hurray!  [Check out our post on Composting 101 for more details to help reduce your food waste.]

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