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Woman emptying a white HÅLLBAR bin of food waste into a plank-lined compost placed in tiny, wood-tile yard with many plants.
A quartet of people milling about a large kitchen island, preparing food. Doors stand ajar onto a yard with plants.

Goodbye waste, hello delicious

Be it an unfinished meal or yet another forgotten bag of lettuce at the back of the fridge, food waste spells bad news for both our planet and wallets. On the upside, though, with a change of mindset, a few food hacks, and some seriously smart products, we can all help to make waste a thing of the past, starting right this very second.

Eating starts with the eyes

The first law of food waste: if you can see it, you’ll eat it. That’s why neat, transparent food storage is so important. It helps you to keep stock of what food you already have, so you’ll use it before it expires and skip unnecessary extra trips to the supermarket.

The freezer is your friend

So, you already have other plans for dinner, when you spot those past-their-prime veggies in the bottom fridge drawer. What to do, what to do? It’s simple: don’t bin them. Instead, chop them up, put them in a resealable bag (made of plastic containing at least 85% renewable material), and freeze them. Their texture will change slightly after thawing, but they’ll still be great for sauces, soups, stews and even smoothies. And just as nutritious, too.

Get time on your side

The freezer is far from the only way to give fresh foods a bin-free future. For just about every fruit, vegetable or herb you can think of, there’s at least one pickle, preserve or pesto you can turn it into. You can also use herbs, garlic, chillis and lemons to infuse cooking oil, which future you’s tastebuds will be most grateful for.

Home-grown herbs

Shop-bought herbs are pricey, have a short shelf-life, and almost always come wrapped in layers of plastic. Even if you don’t have a garden, a sunny windowsill is all the space you need to start growing your own. And your kitchen will look even lovelier for it.

One cook’s trash is another cook’s treasure

We all know better than to throw away a perfectly good vegetable, but what about the scraps? Aside from boiling them up as broth, did you know that spring onions, leeks and many more vegetables can be completely regrown? Simply place the vegetable’s rooted base into a jar filled with water, and watch it grow back right before your eyes.

The last resort

If you absolutely can’t avoid throwing fresh produce away (because life), the next best thing you can do is to keep it separate in your bin. Food waste takes years to decompose in landfill, when it could rather be turned into nutritious compost instead. If recycling isn’t supported in your area, it’s very possible to create your own compost bin at home, even in an apartment.

When you’re out in the world

Watching waste at home is one thing, but being out and about and unprepared is when slip ups often happen. Single-use bottles and shopping bags are two plastic items our world would be better off without. By bringing along your own, wherever you go, it’ll be much, much easier to avoid them.