Eco-Friendly Kitchen Hacks That Will Help You Waste Less

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Eco-Friendly Kitchen Hacks That Will Help You Waste Less

STORY: Priyanka Elhence
02 June 2021
Don't just throw old fruit away - infuse water with them! See point 6 below.
Don't just throw old fruit away - infuse water with them! See point 6 below. | Photo: Pexels/Julia Zolotova

Make food last much longer with these easy kitchen hacks and make a big impact on how much you waste, how much you throw away and lower your grocery bills at the same time.

1. Start at the source

One of the biggest things you can do to reduce your waste, is to simply stop over-buying in the first place. Don’t leave home without a grocery list. It will help you stick to only what you really need, and hopefully be realistic about the quantities that you’re buying too.

2. Learn the difference between ‘use by’ and ‘best by’ dates

Just because something says ‘best by’ or ‘sell by’, doesn’t mean it needs to get thrown away. Those dates are just indications by which quality will start declining and the store starts taking them off the shelves. But they are still safe to eat and you have enough time to use it at home. ‘Use by’ dates however is certainly when you should be throwing something out.

3. Test your eggs before tossing them out

Not sure how fresh the eggs are? Carefully drop one in a glass of water to test its freshness. If it sinks, it's still good to use. But if it floats, throw it away. Why? Eggs are porous, which means that older eggs have had too much time to absorb a lot of air through their shell, causing them to float.

4. Freeze herbs

If you have too much of a herb sitting in your fridge, freeze it individually in olive oil or as mixed herbs, so you can easily add a hint of herbs to your food when cooking. Chop them up, mix them with oil and place the mixture in ice cube trays.

5. Turn food scraps into stock

Collect all veggie scraps from onion and garlic skins and ends, carrot and potato peels, celery tops and bottoms, and freeze them. When you have a large enough pile, dump the scraps into a stockpot with water, and simmer for 30 mins to turn them into a healthy, homemade vegetable stock.

6. Fruit-infused water

Not sure what to do with old fruits? Slice apples, oranges, lemons into a jug of water and leave the flavours to infuse overnight.

7. Compost green food waste

There’s no reason to waste any fruits or vegetables. If you aren’t eating or freezing them, compost them. Not only will you significantly reduce scrap wastage, but you’re also going to help lower greenhouse gas emissions going into the environment.

8. Use stale bread to make croutons

Instead of throwing away old bread, cut the stale slices into cubes, spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, spices and season. Bake until golden and crispy.

9. Instant salad dressing

Got an almost empty bottle of mustard or mayo? Add oil, vinegar, herbs and seasoning, shake vigorously and let it sit for 5 mins. It’s perfect salad dressing with no wastage.

TAGS: Environment , Kitchen hacks
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