Food Waste: How to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

food waste

On this blog, we talk a lot about sustainability. From the energy we use to the clothes we wear, we’re always making choices that affect the environment. But, did you know what we eat can also play a role? Food waste has environmental and societal consequences. In today’s blog, we learn about why so much food is lost. Plus, steps we can take to become less of the problem. 

What is Food Waste?

Almost half of our food is wasted in the United States. But, what does this mean? Well, there are two main ways of measuring this. 

Food Loss

Discarded at every point along the food chain, some amount of edible sustenance is lost. 


The most contributing factor is over farming. Famers often plant more than there is demand for. Sometimes the cost of transport is higher than the price of the crop. Resulting in the produce going un-harvested. 

How do we solve this?

Fishing Boats.

A substantial percentage of fish caught are discarded dead at sea. This throws off the ocean’s ecosystem by increasing food for scavengers and decreasing non-predator fish. 

How do we solve this?

– Be conscientious of where your buying your fish. Shop local or don’t buy fish at all.


Trimming edible portions such as skin, fat, crusts, and peels contributes to food waste. What’s more factors like overproduction, product damage, and technical problems also play a role. 

How do we solve this?

– A third of this by-product goes to feed animals. What else could we use these scraps for?

Transportation and Distribution Networks. 

Without adequate refrigeration, infrastructure, and transportation perishables are vulnerable to loss. Additionally, food is thrown away if a buyer cannot be found. Often, this is donated to a rescue organisation, but the quantity is too big to accept. 

Food Waste

Following on from Loss, Food Waste is defined as edible sustenance discarded by retailers due to colour or appearance. And, plate waste by consumers. How we cook in the kitchen also contributes. 

It includes:

Why Is It Bad?

Filling landfills (if not composted), Food Waste is responsible for more than 25% percent of freshwater consumption. Additionally, it is a leading cause of water pollution. What’s more, the energy use to produce the food is wasted once it perishes. 

How to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The most common factors aiding food waste at home are:

  1. Food Spoiling.
  2. Over-Prepping.
  3. Date Label Confusion. 
  4. Overbuying. 
  5. Poor planning. 

By prepping, reusing scraps, and composting, the loss of perishables can be considerably reduced. Check out these tips!

  1. Make a Meal Plan. Before you head to the supermarket, make a list of what you want and plan out how they can be used together. Be sure to incorporate the ingredients you already have at home!
  2. Avoid buying more than you can eat. Be realistic about how much food you can eat in a week. What’s more, remember to be mindful about how quickly food can go bad. We recommend shopping small and using as much of the item as possible.
  3. Prioritise your cooking. Use the ingredients you know will turn first. Such as: meat, fish, and leafy greens. Organise your fridge by rank of freshness. Place the older items at the front, and then fresher items at the back. 
  4. Use up leftovers. Whether it be from a home-cooked dinner, or a lunch out with friends. Be adventurous with recipes that use old food in new ways. 
  5. Freeze food you can’t eat right away. Almost anything can be frozen nowadays. Make the most of meal prep days by freezing meals that you won’t be eating in the upcoming days. Be sure to label the name and date so you’re not in for a surprise! 
  6. Share any extra food you have. Any surplus will happily be accepted by your community. 
  7. Compost your scraps or keep them for stock. Vegetable skins can be frozen and then boiled to make stock. Recycling food waste can be done at home and used to feed your garden! 

About the Author

Lydia B.

Lydia B.

Lydia B. is a Marketing Coordinator and Music Club Coach for Gooroo, a tutoring membership that matches students to tutors perfect for them based on their unique learning needs. Gooroo offers Math, English, SAT, Coding, Spanish tutoring, and more.