Living a healthier lifestyle and making more of your own meals comes with an often-overlooked consequence, more food waste. In fact, you may end up with leftover peels, stalks of vegetables, egg shells, coffee grounds, and bones that you toss in the trash.
Below are a few easy ways to be more environmentally friendly by using the leftover scraps from meal prepping!
How to reduce food waste and be environmentally friendly
Allow them to dry out overnight then finely crush them. Spread them in your garden as a natural calcium supplement for your soil.
Exfoliation anyone?!? Mix your coffee grounds with solid form coconut oil in a 1 to 1 mixture for an exfoliating facial mask that will leave your skin smooth and hydrated.
Also, coffee grounds can be used as an abrasive cleaner for hard-to-clean dishes.
Fresh peels can be used to shine shoes to a gleaming finish by rubbing on your shoes then wiping clean with a dry cloth.
They can also be cleaned, boiled, then blended with other fruits to increase fiber in your next smoothie.
Make a fresh-smelling cleaner by using the peels of 2-3 oranges and 2 cups of vinegar. First, put it a glass jar and allow to sit for a couple weeks. Then remove the peels and put them into a spray bottle.
Other options include grind them in your garbage disposal for a fresh scent or hang them in breathable bags in your closets to combat musty odor.
Broccoli and cauliflower stalks
Grate them into shreds and stir them into steamed rice or pasta dishes, use as a base for coleslaw, or sprinkle over salads.
Allow them to dry out, crush them, and add them to your bird feeder or sprinkle in your garden.
There are so many uses for pre-brewed tea bags. Here are a few of my favorites!
- Hang a couple of bags in your pasta or rice water to provide a flavor to your favorite grains.
- Allow them to dry out, then put a couple drops of your favorite essential oil on them and hang as an air freshener.
- Place the moist leaves around the base of your plants to help repel pests and fertilize your plants.
Leftover bones can be boiled for 1-2 hours with vegetable scraps, herbs, and spices to make a homemade broth or soup. Freeze any extra broth in 2 cup portions to be used with our next suggestion!
Reinvent your leftovers by tossing them into your favorite broth and making a soup! This can work with grains, meats, vegetables, and beans. Also, add spices and herbs to refresh the flavors!
You may also choose to compost your food waste. However, there is more to it than just throwing all your food scraps into a heap or bucket.
Overall, have fun reducing your waste and finding new ways to repurpose your scraps! For more ways to be environmentally friendly and make your grocery budget go further, check out EPA.gov.