Let’s talk about food waste.
We all make it and that’s okay. But let me ask you something: what do you do with your food waste?
Does it go in the bin with everything else? Do you feed it to the chickens? Does it go into a community compost bin?
There is no right or wrong answer here. I want to start this conversation with you so that we, together, can learn about what options are out there to help us take care of our food waste.
You may be sitting there thinking, why should I care about the scraps that don’t quite make the cut when it comes to cooking up a storm in the kitchen?
Not only does wasted food mean wasted money spent on the ingredients, wasted time and effort spent making the delicious meals, and wasted planetary resources (yes, all fruit and veggies come from planet earth), but it also has a negative impact on the environment. Specifically, wasted food that isn’t composted correctly, means more methane gas is produced.
When methane gas isn’t burned properly, it can trap heat in the atmosphere contributing to its rising temperatures. In other words, methane gas contributes to Climate Change.
Let’s just take that in.
When we do not dispose of our food waste correctly, our atmosphere is hurting that little bit more.
But this blog isn’t about the doom and gloom of Climate Change. It is about how we can reduce our impact by choosing to be a little more conscious about what we do with our leftover food.
Here are six different options to get you started...
If you’ve got the space and the capacity to DIY, creating a compost system in your backyard is the most effective way of dealing with your food waste. It makes a great booster for your soil too so you can get your vegetable garden blooming in no time. The Sustainability Trust has a great blog on how to DIY!
#2 Worm Farms
The work that worms do when it comes to breaking down food waste is incredible. Similar to DIY composting, you need a bit of space to get this one going, but it’s a great solution. If you’re ready to get your hands dirty and make friends with the worms, Tui has written a beginners guide to help get you started.
#3 Repurposing old vegetables to make delicious stock
There is nothing worse than finding a limp carrot in the vegetable draw of the fridge. Okay so maybe there are a few things worse than this, but it’s still an inconvenience when you paid for the carrot. Thats where solution #3 comes in: repurposing your old vegetables to make a delicious vegetable stock. Stock can be used to add extra flavour to all of your favourite dishes. This is personally a favourite way to handle my food waste. Here is a basic vegetable stock recipe - remember you can use whatever vegetables you have in your fridge.
#4 Local Council Food Waste Collections
This is where I suggest you start, especially if you’re living in the city or don’t have the capacity to DIY it. Jump onto your local council website and see what options they have in place. And if they don’t offer any solutions, start the conversation.
#5 Share Waste
Share Waste connects people who have food waste to recycle, with their neighbours who have the systems in place to do so. It allows you to connect with your neighbours, be responsible with your food waste, and make a positive difference for Mother Earth.
#6 Local Farmers and Community Gardens
There are so many community gardens popping up all over New Zealand and I am so here for it. Just like Share Waste, seeking out your local community garden or farm is a great way to dispose of your food waste.