5 Tips to Reduce Food Waste

A whopping 40 percent of food goes to waste in the United States, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

This means that every resource used to produce that food—like water, land, and labor—is also discarded. Plus, when that food sits in landfills, it emits methane, which has been linked to climate change. The top reasons for this waste? Food spoilage, languishing leftovers,and over-shopping, according to a study in the International Journal of Consumer Studies. To waste less, try these simple-to-implement tips from Gustavo Porpino of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, a company devoted to sustainable development.

See also Kick the Plastic Habit

How to Reduce Food Waste

1. Make a list.

Prepare your shopping list before you go to the grocery store, and stick to it.

2. Keep it in plain sight.

Store your produce where it’s easy to spot—not in the crisper drawer, where it’s more likely to go unnoticed and wilt.

3. Get organized.

Organize your cabinets so that foods set to expire the soonest are in front.

4. Freeze leftovers.

Freeze leftovers with dated labels in small containers, or share with friends.

5. Reuse leftovers.

Learn how to reuse leftovers to prepare new dishes, which could also save you cooking time. For instance, fold leftover sautéed spinach into omelets or shred and mix leftover turkey with greens and tomatoes in a salad.

See also We Are the World