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Friday, February 14, 2014

February's Sustainable Challenge - Reducing Food Waste

Coupon clipping seems to be all the rage these days.  Clipping Coupons and buying at stores like Costco can save you a bundle on your food costs, right?

MAYBE.... if you consume it before it goes bad.  

The February Zero-Waste challenge is to consider how much food you throw away due to spoilage.  Lately, my family has not been doing well on this, so we are redoubling our effort to be less wasteful in the food department.

Last year I ran across a great blog called Simply Being Mum.  For four years now - Jo has been focusing on reducing her family's food waste.  Her ideas are simple.... and brilliant!  Her tips are great:
  • Meal plan 
  • Shop only from a list 
  • Check to see how it is going along mid-week - to be sure you are on track. 
  • Post and use a shopping list all week for condiments, etc.
  • Clean out your fridge every Friday.  She blogs about her waste to be accountable!
  • Have a "use it up week" if the fridge is getting too full.  
Simply Being Mum got her original inspiration from The Frugal Girl. 

The Frugal Girl posts pictures and explanations for her waste (what went bad this week in the fridge), and what she was able to rescue - because she found it before it was too late!

I know why we waste food in our house.

  • We buy too much of something.  We justify the purchase, because of the great price.  
  • Our fridge is too full - and we forget about things we have, until it is too late.  
  • Last - we just can't seem to pass up the Buy One Get One Deals that seem like a great deal at the time... but when one of the two go in the garbage - that isn't good for anyone.   
To try and break our old bad habits of food waste, I am going to photograph each Friday with what I must throw away, until our efforts to reduce waste start to pay off.

Here's the thing, if we could all stop wasting so much food it would be really good for the environment!  Here is an eye-opening video that explains not just about the food going into the dumpster but about the energy and resources that go into producing the food. It was made by Lovin Spoonfuls, a food rescue organization in Massachusetts.

This video makes me want to learn more about the successes and challenges of our local food banks. It also makes me want to be more mindful about the food we buy, and the waste we generate in our family.  We commit to reducing food waste, and hope you join us on this quest to make less waste!