According to the United Nations, Americans throw away 40 percent of their food. Considering rising food prices, food waste is an expensive habit. According to the American Chemistry Council, the average American throws away $640 of wasted food every year.
Food waste also has a serious impact on the environment. According to the United Nations, food waste makes up 20 percent of landfill space in the United States, and it’s estimated that 28 percent of the world’s agricultural land is used to grow food that will never be eaten. That’s why the United Nations began a new campaign to cut worldwide food waste in half by 2030.
Do your part to reduce food waste. Help save money and protect the environment by following these simple tips:
- Plan Ahead: Before heading to the grocery store, plan your meals for the entire week and make a list of everything you need. Stick to your list and avoid impulse purchases.
- Take Stock: Keep track of the food currently sitting on your kitchen shelves or in the refrigerator, and incorporate ingredients that are getting close to their expiration dates into your weekly meal plans.
- Eat Leftovers: This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce wasted food and save money. Pack leftovers into a work lunch for the next day, or freeze them to be eaten at a later date.
- Store Properly: Store cereals and grains in airtight containers, and make sure lettuce and salad greens have been washed and dried to avoid becoming prematurely soggy.
- Donate: Give nonperishable food items you don’t plan on using to a local charity or food kitchen. This ensures that foods get used before their expiration dates, and it will help others in need.