The zero waste lifestyle does take more effort than the standard consumerist one, mostly because of how organised you have to be.
For me, its preparing food which takes the longest, but luckily I LOVE to cook. I’m always looking for ways to reclaim time and make the whole process smoother.
I’ve got my food waste to zero through these 5 steps. Heck, they’re not rocket science! They’re pretty much common sense, but they have made a huge difference to me, and reduced my food waste considerably.
If you’re already not bringing packaging into your home from your weekly shop- whoop whoop, congratulations! If you’re not quite there yet check out our tips on how you can cut packaging waste out of your weekly shop.
If you eat meats, opt for leaner meats with less bones if you have no food waste bin, so that you don’t have to figure out what to do with the waste as you’ve already avoided it. Where I live, I don’t have access to a food bin, but a friend who lives in another town does, so I freeze food waste like this to give to her.
If you prefer meat with bones, reuse the bones to make a yummy bone broth.
Eke out your meals into larger ones by increasing the carbohydrates which are in your meals, so that they can be eaten for a few more days. If you make enough, you can even portion up and freeze the meals to eat later on.
By adding in more carbs and veggies, you can get more meals for a cheaper price with a lot less waste. Win win.
Get creative with your ‘left overs’
When preparing vegetables which need the skins removing, like a potato, why not wash them thoroughly and make the skins into crisps?
If you’re prepping some sort of squash with seeds, scoop out and toast those seeds for a lovely garnish or nice snack.
If you can, compost all the parts which are inedible. As with everything zero waste, it is best to reduce the need to use something like your compost bin, but to have it there as a great back up.
Prepare your cupboard, by hoarding dry goods and buying in fresh when needed
Filling jars and boxes up with grains you use on the regular is a great way to cut plastic and food waste as you’ll have these grains in when you need to use them mid week and won’t need to dash to the shops to buy more.
Rely on your freezer
I’ve said this before, but I fell more deeply in love with my freezer when I started my zero waste journey.
I use it to keep left overs, to keep vegetable peelings which I want to make into stock. It can also speed up my food preparation, as I cook parts of a meal (like beans) and freeze them to add to soups, stews or lunches without needing to go to the effort of cooking from scratch each time.
So that’s it, my 5, non scientific ways to cut food waste to zero through food preparation.