Easy Ways To Reduce Food Waste and Be Environmentally Friendly

Easy Ways To Reduce Food Waste & Be Environmentally Friendly

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

Eggshells can be recycled to reduce food waste.


Allow them to dry out overnight then finely crush them. Spread them in your garden as a natural calcium supplement for your soil.

Coffee grounds

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.

Banana peels

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.

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Orange peels

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.

Carrot peels

Allow them to dry out, crush them, and add them to your bird feeder or sprinkle in your garden.

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Tea bags

There are so many uses for pre-brewed tea bags. Here are a few of my favorites!

  1. Hang a couple of bags in your pasta or rice water to provide a flavor to your favorite grains.
  2. Allow them to dry out, then put a couple drops of your favorite essential oil on them and hang as an air freshener.
  3. 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!

Meal leftovers

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.

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Sarah Trinajstich, RD, IBCLC
Hi, my name is Sarah Trinajstich. I'm a registered dietitian and an international board-certified lactation consultant. I received my bachelor's degree and completed my dietetic internship at California State University Long Beach. I then completed my lactation consultant education at the University San Diego Extension. I believe in the power of good nutrition from the moment of conception and the importance of breastfeeding, not only for babies nutrition but for the bonding and physical benefits to baby and mom. There is no greater satisfaction for me than to help a mother and her baby breastfeed successfully. Breastfeeding is more than what the body does without thinking. It involves skills that mom and baby learn together. I look forward to help ease the learning curve!