WeatherImpact Earth


7 ways to prevent food waste

Posted at 7:04 AM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 14:15:05-04

According to Feeding America, billions of pounds of food are thrown into landfills every year.

That food waste produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

RELATED: Researchers look to solve food production challenges due to climate change

At the same time, one in eight people struggles with hunger in Arizona alone.

That is why ABC15's Impact Earth team is looking into the ways you can prevent food waste.

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Kate Thoene, Executive Director of the non-profit Waste Not, says these tips will not only help the environment but save you some money as well:

  1. Use bin liners in your refrigerator shelves to help keep the moisture out
  2. If you are only going to use half of a banana or avocado, use a "food hugger." They keep fruit fresh, and you can find them on Amazon for less than $10.
  3. Use the "first in, first out" method. If you buy yogurt, for example, put it behind the older yogurt already in your fridge.
  4. If you have unsliced bread, use a bread box. It will make the bread last longer.

Thoene says if your fruit starts to go bad, there are many ways to repurpose it.

“Throw it into a blender, make smoothies, make sauces and salsas," Thoene said. "You can make stocks and broths or soups. Soups are a great way to utilize food that you might just have a little bit of everything, and you don’t know what to do with it."

"The top levels of the hierarchy are the best ways to prevent and divert wasted food because they create the most benefits for the environment, society and the economy," the Environmental Protection Agency says.

Thoene says you can also buy your own compost bin to put your left-over scraps in and use them in the garden.

RELATED: Convert your food waste into renewable energy

“I compost but then I also use a lot of my vegetable scraps for our desert tortoise," she said. "A lot of neighborhoods have people with chickens or neighborhood farms. You can always find a neighborhood farm that would really benefit from your vegetable scraps."

Waste Not does not accept food donations from individuals or homes. However, they do work with businesses and catering companies to give their leftover food to individuals in the community struggling with food insecurity. To learn more, click here.