New Year, Less Food Waste

Start the new year off with a resolution that saves money, benefits the environment, and contributes to community wellbeing: reduce food waste.

Each year, the average family of four spends $1,866 on food that they never eat. The reason this number is so high is because we waste a lot more than banana peels and avocado pits. We waste dairy, fruits and vegetables, meat, and leftovers that, with proper food storage and planning, could have been prevented from ever getting trashed. The average household could save approximately $35 a week (that’s $155 a month!) by following proper food stewardship.

In San Diego County, it is estimated that between 15-30% of all waste sent to the landfill is food waste. When food scraps decompose in the landfill, they emit methane gas, an extremely potent greenhouse gas that is more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide. Believe it or not, cutting down on your food waste is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment.

This is exactly why the State of California adopted a law, Senate Bill 1383, to reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfills by 75% by 2025. SB 1383 went into effect on January 1, 2022. Soon, your family or business will be provided with organics recycling services by your waste hauler. In addition to tossing your food scraps into the organics cart, you can do your part by preventing food from getting wasted in the first place.

3 Simple Strategies to Reduce Your Food Waste:

  1. Learn how to properly store your produce. You may be storing your food in the wrong place, causing it to spoil faster than it should. Follow this interactive guide on how to properly store produce like onions, apples, bananas, and more.

    Tip! Print this guide out and tape it to your fridge.
  2. Plan an “Eat The Leftovers” night. Leftovers don’t have to be boring! Give your leftovers a new life: consider a leftovers tapas-style feast, or test your zero waste cooking skills by trying out a recipe designed to repurpose leftovers. Here’s some ideas to help get you started.
  3. Create a shopping list with specific recipes and meals in mind. Inventory your fridge before grocery shopping, and create a plan from there. Making a shopping list of only what you need can help prevent impulse buying and ensures that you have a plan to use all of the ingredients you buy.
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