Food Waste: Live Green with Happy Stan’s Recycling
January is all about resolving to break bad habits. However, we all know it can be easier said than done, particularly if there is no action plan involved. Whether it’s losing weight or saving money, the crew at Happy Stan’s Recycling in Port Coquitlam challenge you to incorporate a few green resolutions, starting with reducing food waste.
Canadians waste $31 billion worth of food each year. Not only does this take a toll on our planet, but also our wallets. With a few of our team’s tips, you and your family can reduce the amount you throw away, and put that money you save towards much more important things, like that next family vacation!
- Shop smart. We often forget that extra waste can be created when shopping at the grocery store. This can come in the form of impulse buys, or buying bulk goods versus packaged goods. To avoid added consumption, make grocery lists, opt for buying from the bulk bins with reusable bags, or buy daily produce rather than in volume, which tends to spoil.
- Keep tabs on what’s going into your refrigerator and pantry, and what’s going out. A great way to keep track is using the FIFO System (First In, First Out). This allows you to cook using your older ingredients before they begin to mould or expire.
- Plan your meals. Assign each day of the week to a specific meal, that way you know exactly what you’ll need to buy and what ingredients can be used and when.
- Leftover Lunches. Last night’s dinner is always a smart idea for tomorrow’s lunch. It saves time, energy, money, and calories, plus ‘trims down’ on waste (pun intended!).
- Be Resourceful. When cooking, use every scrap. Getting rid of the bones? Use it for stock! Done with the stem? Add to a vegetable stir-fry! Celery leaves, carrot tops, and broccoli crowns are also perfectly edible and delicious additions to your next soup base.
- Steer Clear from Plastic Packaging. From bagged lettuce to packaged carrots, pre-portioned food can often spoil quicker. Purchasing fruit and vegetables as-is helps to ensure your food is fresh, and also reduces your waste and unnecessary plastic consumption.
- Canning or pickling your fruits and vegetables can lengthen their lifespan in the pantry. In addition, fermented food (think sauerkraut and kimchi) has been proven to aid digestion and help contribute to gut health.
- Never put more than your stomach can handle on a plate. Remember, you can always go back for a second helping!
- Composting is a no brainer as these food scraps can be used as food for your plants! Visit the City of Port Coqutilam’s website to learn about the local composting program in Port Coquitlam.
- Eat less meat and dairy. One of the greatest contributors to global warming is meat and dairy production, as it takes a ton of natural resources to raise cattle. From animal waste to transportation, it’s said that a cow does on overage release between 70 and 120 kg of Methane per year. If you typically eat meat three or more times per week, try going vegetarian at least once for ‘Meatless Monday’.
Living a waste-free life isn’t always easy, but every step counts to making the world a greener place. A small act each day can result in a multitude of impact on not just yourself, but those around you. If you have any other ideas on how to stay waste free in the kitchen, let us know by commenting on our Facebook page!