Friday, July 11, 2008

Be Green - Reduce Food Waste!

Want to be more green savvy? Something as simple as reducing food waste can help! (We posted this at vegtaste.com, and we wanted to share it with you!)According to authors Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen who wrote “The Green Book”, 4.54 pounds of trash are produced every day by an individual – 500 billion pounds per year for the entire United States! So, to make small but significant changes in your consumption and disposal habits, start with the following tips to reduce food waste:
- buy products that contain recycled materials and that can be recycled
- buy products with the least amount of packaging
- buy less processed convenient foods and more fresh foods
- buy in bulk and avoid single-serving products
- buy natural eco-friendly products
- use what you buy
- use a shopping list and follow it, so as to not buy products that you won’t need
- avoid plastic and Styrofoam plates and use reusable plates instead
- do less take-out and fast food
- decrease portion sizes and go back for seconds if needed
- bring home leftovers from a restaurant
- use leftovers in a recipe for another day
- try to utilize all food parts (such as from a vegetable) in cooking
- use the least amount of plates and silverware
- use cloth napkins
- use reusable Tupperware
- use reusable bags for shopping
- reuse plastic bags
- recycle bags, cardboard, and paper
For more information on being “green”, research online, or check out The Green Book, by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen, and Green Chic – Saving the Earth In Style”, by Christie Matheson. We also found an article on "8 ways to cut waste when grocery shopping" that we thought was also helpful:
1. Skip single-serving items, which require more packaging per unit. Overpackaged offenders include frozen foods and lunch and snack items.
2. Purchase juice concentrates. You supply the water and pitcher and skip the large plastic container.
3. Avoid disposable goods, including razors, lighters, and plastic plates.
4. Use your own canvas or string bags at the grocery store. If you do use plastic, return it to the store for recycling, or use as trash bags.
5. Use produce bags only for moist or small, loose items, such as lettuce and berries.
6. When possible, purchase goods in cans or glass instead of plastic containers. Glass can be recycled indefinitely.
7. Look for multipurpose cleaners instead of buying one for each kind of surface.
8. Close the loop. Purchase products that have themselves been made from recycled materials, such as Seventh Generation paper towels.
Another article, posted by equanimity, discusses "10 ways to Green Your Fridge":
1. Ditch the plastic - switch to glass storage containers
2. Upgrade (and downsize) - buy an energy-efficient refridgerator, and one that's smaller in size that "consumes less energy and discourages waste".
3. Forget ice and water dispensers
4. Fill 'er up - keep the fridge full, to reduce energy consumption.
5. Mind the expiration date - check expiration dates and use food before it goes to waste.
6. Keep it clean - a clean fridge reduces bacterial growth and food spoilage.
7. Vacuum the coils - to keep the refrigerator more efficient, clean the coils in the back at least twice a year.
8. Check the seals - make sure the seals to the doors are tight to prevent air escaping.
9. Location - keep your fridge in a location away from appliances that generate heat or away from a sunny window.
10. Temperature - keep the temperature between 36° -38°F.
Can you think of other ways to reduce food waste? We would love your opinions and tips!
-LK

5 comments:

shelby said...

What a great post! It's awesome how you two are spreading the word about reducing waste and other ways to be green. Can you believe where I live in Arizona does not recycle??? My mom is going nuts not being able to.


Oh and did you have a specific recipe for those carrot cake pancakes? They sound amazing and I would love to try them!

SouthernQ said...

Thanks for all of the amazing tips - great post! I thought you would love our new website which ties fast food packaging to the destruction of forests - www.nofreerefills.org

Cheers and keep up the great writing!

Ricki said...

Hi LK,
Thanks for your comment on my blog! Much appreciated. And this article is full of really useful info!

As to the avocado, as far as I know, no, it doesn't go rancid with heat. If anything, baking would help preserve it. And since avocados are full of monounsaturated fats, they can withstand a bit of heat (it's the same type of fat as olive oil--and heating avocados would be similar to heating olives, as in a pasta, I'd guess).

I've made these (and other baked goods with avocado) several times now, and they come out just fine--and freeze really well, too :) .

Bianca said...

Good green tips! I've been reusing Ziploc baggies lately, and I feel so good about it. I just wash them out when I do dishes and let 'em dry.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Thanks for all of these great tips!!