Save money & reduce waste by reusing food scraps! Here are a few ideas…
Food waste is a major problem in America, with recent estimates showing that between 30 and 40% of the entire food supply goes to waste each year. While some of this waste occurs on the production and transportation side of things, there are many things that consumers can do to reduce waste once food reaches your table. Living sustainably means taking steps to reduce waste wherever possible, and this includes food waste. Reusing food scraps may mean composting them for use in the garden or on potted plants, regrowing new food from scraps, or even using them in new ways in recipes.
Even apartment dwellers can compost food scraps with a bit of ingenuity. Try these small-space composting tips for some guidance.
Some vegetables will re-grow from a stem or piece of root, and all you need is a small pot of soil or even just a glass of water and a sunny windowsill. Herbs such as basil, garlic, and ginger can be re-grown from a stem, clove, or piece of root, green onions will re-sprout multiple times in a glass of water if you only cut off the green part, and celery and lettuce will sprout new leaves from the base. Not only does re-growing your scraps reduce food waste, but it also saves you money on groceries!
And you can make many delicious recipes from food scraps, such as broth or stock, soups and stews, breads, tea, and more. You can even make your own apple cider vinegar from apple peels! Check out this book for lots of tasty food scrap recipes.
Here are a few more unique ideas for reusing food scraps:
- Infuse liquor with citrus peels for a yummy adult beverage!
- Add crushed eggshells to your garden soil to give it a calcium boost.
- Run citrus peels through the garbage disposal to get rid of nasty odors.
- Use carrot peels to make carrot oil—an awesome addition to your natural, chemical-free beauty routine.
- Add citrus peels to white vinegar to use in cleaning. Infuse the vinegar with the citrus peels by letting them sit together for 2 weeks before straining the peels and transferring the citrusy vinegar to a spray bottle.
- Make citrus air fresheners.
- Use banana peels to shine your shoes.
- Use spent coffee grounds in your garden as a pest repellent, fertilizer, or an ingredient in compost.
- You can also use your coffee grounds to help absorb food odors in the fridge. Put old grounds in a container and place it in the fridge to get rid of musty food smells.
- Coffee grounds can even be used to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin!