Did you know that the average Australian family throws away around $2200 and $3800 worth of food each year? In fact, it’s estimated that we dispose of a whopping 30% of the food we purchase. That’s a lot of waste!
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can easily reduce your family’s food waste (and save money) with a little forethought and effort. Here are seven easy ways to get started.
- Buy in bulk to reduce packaging waste
One of the easiest ways to reduce your food waste is to buy in bulk. When you buy larger quantities of food, you’ll generate less packaging waste. And, in many cases, you’ll save plenty of money along the way too.
Look for opportunities to buy in bulk when you can, specifically at retailers that specialise in bulk products at lower prices. For example, you can buy a large bag of flour instead of multiple small bags, or purchase a whole chicken instead of individual chicken breasts.
- Avoid disposable items like straws, cups, and plates
Another way to reduce your food waste is to avoid disposable items. This includes items like paper plates, plastic straws, and Styrofoam cups.
Not only will avoiding disposable items help reduce your food waste, but it’ll also help reduce your impact on the environment. That’s because disposable items often end up in landfills, where they can take centuries to decompose. To help you improve your waste management knowledge, read here four common waste disposal methods.
- Bring your own bags to the grocery store
Bringing your own reusable bags to the grocery store is also a great way to reduce your food waste. This will help you to generate less garbage and also save money at the same time. Most grocery stores charge a fee for plastic bags, so bringing your own reusable bags will help you save those quarters that more than add up over time.
- Compost food scraps and garden waste
Composting is a fantastic habit to pick up, helping to give your unwanted food a second life. When you compost food scraps and garden waste, you’re essentially turning garbage into gold. That’s because compost is an excellent fertiliser for gardens.
If you don’t have a garden, you can still compost your food scraps. Many local councils offer programs whereby you can drop off your food scraps at a designated location, or you can find someone in your community or a family member or friend who will take your food scraps off your hands.
- Recycle paper, plastic, metal, and glass products
Recycling is yet another surefire way to lessen your household waste. When you recycle paper, plastic, metal, and glass products, you’re essentially giving those products a second life.
Most local councils have recycling programs in place, making it easy to find a place to recycle your food waste. Simply check with your local government to find out which colour bins are for recycling and place all your paper, hard plastic, metal and glass in there when emptying your bins.
If you manage your own business, you can enlist the services of a waste management company to help set up a suitable recycling program and have all your waste disposed of responsibly.
- Use less water
Using less water is one of the best things you can do for the environment. That’s because, when you use less water, you’re conserving a valuable resource and putting less of a strain on our supply levels.
There are a number of ways you can use less water. For example, you can install low-flow fixtures in your kitchen or bathrooms, or you can water your plants during the cooler hours of the day to reduce evaporation.
- Donate food to a food bank or shelter
If you have food that you know you won’t be able to eat, consider donating it to a food bank or shelter. There are many organisations that will gladly take your unwanted food off your hands.
Not only will you be helping those in need, but you’ll also be reducing your food waste. It’s a win-win!
By following these seven simple tips, you can easily reduce your food waste. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be helping the environment. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!