Sunday, 29 December 2013

New Year’s resolution: To eat what we buy…

So how much food do you throw away? The impact of food waste is not just financial. Environmentally, food waste leads to wasteful use of chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides; more fuel used for transportation; and more rotting food, creating more methane – one of the most harmful greenhouse gases that contributes to climate change. Want more facts?

One of my biggest guilt trips is seeing how much ends up in our garbage bins every week. I complain of costs of groceries going up but am I making use of what I buy? How can I influence what food resources I use to reduce my environmental footprint? At my house, as a working mother plus husband and 4 kids, there simply hasn’t been focus on this. We are all very busy, our babysitter cooks 3 days a week and I can think of at least 20 other excuses why I am not on top of this. Sound familiar?
 But no more of this. Time for a little experiment! Even though a very smart guy close to me has strongly discouraged me from implementing lean at home (supposedly reduces lead time for your relationship), I think I can really add value by doing this. Where to start? Measure first right? Garbage bins are full, we have 5 of them; 1 for paper (emptied once a month), 1 for plastics (emptied once a month), 1 for greens, 2 for the rest of the garbage, the last three are emptied every other week.

Target: reduce by 1 rest garbage bin within 1 month.
The plan:

  1. Buy smarter! Plan my meals and visualize the meal plan in the kitchen every week. Make a shopping list from the plan and stick to it. Thou shall avoid impulse buying… 
  2. Cook smarter! Consider how many small eaters and big eaters you have at the dinner table and cook accordingly. 
  3. Store smarter! Keep leftovers in my freezer in airtight containers or freezer bags. Eat a ‘leftover’ meal 1 night every week to make sure the freezer doesn’t keep filling up. 
  4. Reuse smarter! There are recipe sites for leftovers and even sites where you can enter the ingredients you have in your fridge to get meal suggestions!

So, who is with me on this?

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