START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

25 Ways to Reduce Food-Related Waste

  • 2 of 6

waste less food

Waste Less Food

Cutting back on food waste is one of the best ways that you can save money and help the planet at the same time. When we send food waste to the landfill, it breaks down to produce methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. Here are some ways to make a difference.

1. Don’t shop hungry. I know, I probably sound like your mother, but this is great advice. When you hit the grocery store on an empty stomach, you’re much more likely to buy more food than you need and have to toss spoiled food down the road.

2. Plan your meals and make a list. This goes hand in hand with that first tip. Instead of heading to the store without a plan, take some time to decide what you’re going to cook in the next week. Inventory your cabinets to see what you have, so you don’t end up picking something up that was already in the pantry.

3. Get organized. When you get back from the store, don’t just shove everything into the pantry and the fridge. Take this opportunity to move things that are expiring soon so they’re front and center. You’ll be more likely to use them before they spoil that way.

4. Don’t worry so much about “best by” dates. Often, those are more to cover the producers than for your own safety. I highly recommend the StillTasty database to see if your food is still good. Of course, if something smells funny, has turned a disturbing color, or the packaging is puffed up, it’s better to toss it.

5. Compost. If you do have food that spoils, don’t throw it in the trash! Compost it instead and transform your waste into precious food for your plants.. There are so many surprising things that can go to the compost bin instead of the landfill.

Next>> Waste Less Water

  • 2 of 6

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Conservation, Eco-friendly tips, Family, Food, Green, Green Kitchen Tips, Home, Household Hints, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Smart Shopping, , , , , , , ,

quick poll

vote now!

Loading poll...

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


+ add your own
10:47PM PDT on Oct 7, 2014

Thank you for this article, excellent tips!

I like to wait until the water from steaming my veggies cools then pour it on my plants, they love it!

I live in the city and don't have composting facilities, but when I do a big cook up I wrap up the veggie peelings and bring them in to my work colleague who has chickens.

11:24PM PDT on Oct 2, 2014

great tips, thank you

5:40PM PDT on Oct 2, 2014

I have been "rich" and poor, and fortunately I learned not to waste anything BEFORE I became "money challenged"...So even on a very meager sum we eat very well!

12:35PM PDT on Oct 1, 2014

Some great tips, thanks.

4:29AM PDT on Apr 14, 2014

I check out my veggies. I make a lot of soups, so I don't have to waste veggies. Right now I have 1/2 a cabbage, so it's soup or cole slaw. I don't have too many left over veggies. It takes a lot of planning living alone. Worth it. Remember the freezer, lots of thing we can freeze.

4:52AM PDT on Oct 23, 2013

Also when boiling the kettle only heat as much water as you need. It will boil much quicker and use less power.

4:47AM PDT on Oct 23, 2013

I do many of these, and there's a few ideas I hadn't thought of that I will be using. I love my reusable produce and shopping bags. The plastic bags that do come into the house get taken to the recycling depot. Thanks for sharing :)

1:14PM PST on Nov 30, 2012

I do most of these, thanks for posting, re-shared!

6:22AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

Do most of these, but like the idea of a dipping bowl for cleaning hands while cooking. Have learned to steam broccoli and other fragile veg as soon as I come home from the store (or at least that day) and store it in glass containers. This way it always gets eaten before it turns yellow.
We are also fortunate to live where there are wild critters that appreciate the trimmings from veg and most plate scraps. Javelina will eat almost anything and have become our four-legged garbage disposals, as well as a joy to watch.

10:11PM PDT on Jul 1, 2012

great tips, thanks!!!

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

I think that the author should have specified that this crap (if it is true) is sold in the US and t…

OOOOPS, for everyone's info, a cup of peas has between 7.5 - 8.0 grams of protein, not 79. That was…

Very interesting thank you so much for passing this along to the community!

My name is Christabella, I am here to give my testimony about a doctor who helped me in my life. I w…


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!