Food is wasted at an alarming rate in the U.S and with it go wasted resources such as water, land, crops, energy, labor and fuel.  

In 2019, Connecticut alone generated 653 thousand tons of food waste!  

In the E.P.A Food Recovery Hierarchy source reduction is the most important and first step in fighting food waste. 

We all have the ability to DO ONE THING and change the course of food waste in our own homes.  

Take a look at these actionable steps to:

  • Help reduce food waste
  • Rescue food
  • Recycle food scraps

TIPS TO FIGHT FOOD WASTE

*Courtesy of partner Save The Food

MEAL PLAN – Plan two or three meals before shopping and use a list when at the store. Plan to eat the most perishable items early in the week and consider recipes that use ingredients you might have left over. Then plan in a couple of “lazy nights” for the week to order out, dine with friends, or use what’s in your freezer.*

LEARN HOW TO STORE FOOD PROPERLY – Prep produce for next couple days as soon as you bring it home, for easy use during the week. Use airtight containers for most foods. Click for additional storage advice for over 85 foods.*

LEFTOVER NIGHT – Designate one night a week to use up what's in your fridge.*

LEARN TO FREEZE FOODS – Freezing food is like pushing the pause button and almost anything can be frozen—bread (best sliced), milk (shake when thawed), eggs (raw but scrambled), and cheese (shredded and used for cooking). And don’t forget to freeze leftovers, even if just for a few days.* *

UNDERSTAND EXPIRATION DATES – “Use by,” “Best by,” “Enjoy by”—these are generally not expiration dates at all, but merely suggestions as to when the product is at its freshest. Use your senses! *

SHOP YOUR PANTRY – Before heading to the grocery store and while meal planning take a look at what you already have on hand at home.  See how you can incorporate those items into your meals

ASK FOR SECONDS – When serving meals to your family or friends serve smaller portions and encourage them to go back for seconds. 

FOOD RESCUE

The second tier of the EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy is “Feed Hungry People." 

Here are some resources to help:

  1. Volunteer for Food Rescue US
  2. Center for EcoTechnology’s Guidance on Food Donation for CT Schools
  3. How to donate food to CT Food Banks
  4. Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

COMPOSTING

Diverting food scraps from the incinerator to composting: 

  • Increases soil moisture, combats erosion, supports essential soil bacteria, controls for weeds and stabilizes soil ph.
  • Reduces the energy being used to incinerate trash by taking wet food out of the waste.
  • Reduces the emissions that come from the incinerator and transportation of trash and ash.
  • Reduces the toxic ash that is buried in landfills.
  • Using locally sourced compost can replace the need for chemical fertilizers.

TOWN DROP OFF PROGRAMS

Check with your local town Department of Public Works to see if your town has a food scrap collection program.