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Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of our ‘Shelley’s Sustainability Series’.

This week we are coving all things food waste…mainly how you and your family can reduce the amount of food waste in your home. And because we know how overwhelming it can be to incorporate new systems into your family’s busy routine, we have broken this topic down into three, easy to digest, sections. But before we get onto the main event, it is important to note that every single one of us has different varying capacities to make these sustainable lifestyle changes. For this very reason, the all or nothing approach to sustainability can generally leave us feeling inadequate, frustrated or wondering whether we even have the ability to make a difference.

Here at Shelley’s Good Eats, we want to give you all the information to help inspire and empower you to take control of reducing your food waste…But we also encourage you to take small, manageable steps that are realistic and achievable for you and your family. So without further ado here are our top tips on how to reduce, reuse and recycle your household food waste.

Reduce – Your food-related waste

Your family’s food waste can be split into two categories, food-related packaging and actual food. Reducing your food packaging on a budget can be challenging, however, there are some simple ways to improve your impact without spending all your money at expensive bulk food stores. Simply picking packaged foods with recyclable packing (remembering to look for the little triangle) and recycling them correctly when you are done is a great way to reduce your impact. Similarly, opting to ditch single-serving packaged foods, and replacing them with larger, usually more cost-friendly, options can help you reduce your family’s food waste.

Shopping for your fresh food at your local farmers market can also be a cheaper and more eco-friendly option, while also being a fun food experience for your kids. Choosing to shop locally and reducing the amount of plastic packaged fruit and veg you buy are effective and easy ways to reduce your family’s impact. A little pre-shopping meal planning can also go a long way to reducing the amount of food wasted by your family each week.

Reuse – Your food scraps

Food scraps are often overlooked for their many useful benefits. Giving your scraps a second lease of life can be a great way to reduce your impact and potentially save you money. Things like vegetable, chicken or beef stocks that you can use as a base for soups and other family-favourite recipes, are simple, sustainable and cheap to make at home from you leftover meat bones and veggie cut-offs. Keeping these scraps sealed in your freezer and pulling them out when you need them, is a great way to store your scraps and also helps to keep them fresh. Citrus peels are another severely underestimated household scrap that can easily be used to make your very own eco-friendly cleaning products. These products are really cheap and easy to make, helping you save some serious pennies while also reducing your impact.

reuse lemons and citrus in cleaning

Recycle – Your waste

Your family’s food-related waste can be separated into four different categories, recycling, food/green waste, soft plastics and general waste (waste that goes to landfill). Fortunately, traditional recycling and soft plastic recycling is becoming easier, with more companies incorporating more clear directions and labels for us to follow! However, it can still be difficult to understand where certain parts of your family’s food waste should, and more importantly shouldn’t, go, as many cities have different waste management systems.

Your local council’s website is always a good place to start to clear up any yellow-lidded bin (traditional) recycling questions you may have. This can also be a good place to start finding information on how to start a worm farm or compost bin at home. But what if you can’t compost at home? Or you simply don’t have the time? Fortunately, there are a few ways to make sure you are disposing of your family’s food/green waste properly, without having to start your own backyard worm farm or compost bin. Apps like Sharewaste are a great way of finding people or community gardens in your area that are accepting green waste for their own compost bins, worm farms or chickens.

The new kid on the block is soft plastic recycling…

and thankfully, this form of recycling could not be easier for your family to incorporate, with the drop off points for this waste being in most Coles and Woolies stores! Meaning all you have to do is collect your household’s soft scrunchable plastics and take them with you on your weekly grocery shopping run (it’s that easy!). For more information about the do’s and don’ts of soft plastic recycling, visit the Redcycle website.

We hope that this edition of ‘Shelley’s sustainability series’ will help empower you and your family with the knowledge you need to reduce your food waste, no matter where you are in your sustainability journey. For more information on the dos and don’ts of recycling, check out our other blog post here.

Have a happy sustainable Tuesday from our family to yours.

– The Shelley’s Good Eats Team

A bit about the Author

Hi my name is Karly. I am a 3rd year Nutrition student, studying on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. I work as an assistant at Shelley’s Good Eats, in-between my studies. As well as having a passion for all things nutrition, I also have a keen interest in sustainability. In the future, I would love to combine both of my passions and educate people in a dynamic and multifaceted way.