Your New Year’s Resolutions Could Help Reduce Waste

composting at restaurants can help restaurants reduce waste

Happy New Year!

Reducing waste, especially food waste, will reduce our environmental impact. Thankfully it’s a new year, and many of us are embarking on the annual “eat better, lose weight” tour de force. Whether it’s your intention or not, eating better, shopping better, and living a healthier lifestyle can actually help reduce your household food waste.

Reduce household waste
Shop for fresh local produce to reduce household waste and keep your New Year’s resolution.

Eating better reduces waste

In our quest to eat better and become healthier all around, we start to be a lot more aware of what we buy. That means that we start to look at fresh produce, and we start to plan out our meals much more meticulously. Because of this, we end up reducing the amount of food waste, as well as other types of waste. Buying fresh produce often eliminates wasteful packaging of processed foods. Plus, once you think more about how much you are going to eat, you end up buying less or buying only what you actually plan on cooking and consuming.

Tips for reducing waste and eating healthy

Waste management begins with changing the way we shop. When we go grocery shopping, there are many ways that you can help reduce waste. Planning your meals means only buying what you need, not what you want. By reducing all of your unhealthy snack habits, you eliminate a lot of wasteful packaging from all of your favorite sweet and savory “guilty pleasures.”

Waste management in West Virginia
Don’t be afraid to buy “ugly” produce.

Farmers markets are a great source of healthy, fresh, and often, organic produce. Bring a tote bag to avoid a new bag at every stand.  Don’t be afraid to choose veggies that may not look pristine. As consumers, we shop with our eyes. We want everything to look like a commercial. But, the truth is, a bruised piece of fruit, a crooked carrot, or an oddly shaped potato is just as nutritious and tasty as the “perfect” looking produce. If we can start to love ugly produce, we can eliminate a lot of food waste.

Buying local reduces production waste. Produce shopping at local farmers markets will support your local farmers, your local community, and help reduce waste. When you buy local, you reduce the amount of packaging and transportation that is required to ship produce across the country to get to your grocery store. Buying local is an easy way to reduce waste.

Don’t use the plastic bags in the produce section. Those plastic bags are just there for convenience, but there’s no reason for them. The cashier will still be able to take your five loose tomatoes and get them on the scale. We don’t need a new plastic bag for each type of produce.  Bring your own reusable bags when you shop.

Minimize waste in 2018
Soups are a delicious way to use all of your veggies and minimizing waste.

Storing your food properly at home, using a crisper, or properly sealed containers, you can extend the life of your produce.  If you’ve planned your shopping right, you shouldn’t end up with a lot of wasted food that you didn’t get to eat.

Also, learn to love soups. Especially here in the winter months. Once the veggies have started looking a little soft, when the carrot has lost its snap, the flavors are all still there. Again, the carrot may not look so pretty, but it’s still going to be great in a stew or a soup made from the last veggies and other leftovers. Don’t forget to save the bones for homemade stock.

Waste management in West Virginia

At Sunrise Sanitation, we offer easy, convenient, and affordable waste management solutions throughout West Virginia. But, it’s up to all of us to shop smarter and eat better, reducing the amount of waste that we produce. Waste management is about improving the health of people, the aesthetics of our state, and the protection of our planet. Make 2018 the year you take steps to reduce your household waste, improving your health at the same time.

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