Top ten tips to cut kitchen waste

Australians throw away four million tonnes of food every year. When you discard food, you are also discarding all of the water, fertiliser, fuel and energy that were used to get that food to your plate. By switching a few habits you can make a big difference to your emissions and your household budget.

  1. Grow your own. Whether you have a small balcony or a sprawling backyard, there is space to grow food. Herbs in boxes, fruit trees in pots or a big veggie plot. If you don’t know where to start, contact your local community garden, you could lease a plot or just learn from the experts.
  2. Buy local and seasonal. Food produced in season locally will be naturally more delicious, it also comes without the emissions associated with transport across the country or the world. Seasonal produce should also be cheaper because it’s in abundance.
  3. Plan your meals. It’s a great way to save money at the check-out and ensure you are only buying what you need.
  4. Shop to a list and only buy what you need, check the cupboard and fridge before you leave the house
  5. You’ve planned your meals and shopped to a list; now ensure you store your food correctly so it doesn’t spoil before you use it. 
  6. Check the best before date. Keep an eye on when the food in your pantry and fridge are set to expire. Plan to eat them before they spoil or freeze them for future use.
  7. Eat the end bits. Some foods, like broccoli stalks, beetroot leaves and potato skins are often chopped off and thrown away, but they’re perfectly fine to eat.
  8. Make leftovers right. Leftovers are a great resource, whether re-invented for a meal the next day or frozen for a few weeks’ time, don’t let them go to waste. Alternatively, plan your portions to eliminate leftovers altogether.
  9. Freeze, juice, dry or soup it before it goes bad. There are lots of creative ways to save your food on the brink of spoiling. Freeze stocks, make soups from veggies, juices from fruits and dry your herbs to help cut your food waste.
  10. Food waste accounts for about half of all rubbish sent to landfill. If you do have food waste, compost it at home using a worm farm, compost bin, bokashi bucket or backyard chooks. You will cut in half what you send to landfill and keep the valuable nutrients for your garden. Find out more about Switch your thinking's discounts on worm farms, compost bins and bokashi buckets here.