Learn how to reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot (composting) to help your community and the environment save energy and natural resources. In addition to saving resources through waste reduction you'll be saving money. On average a family of four spends over $1,500 per year on food that they don't eat.
To get started on wasting less, start a 31 Day Zero Waste Challenge. Part of this challenge is to identify what is being thrown away in your household to determine where improvements to reduce waste can happen.
Wasted Food At Home
43% of wasted food in the United States comes from households.
Food is too important to throw away. By making small shifts in how you shop, prepare and store food, you can keep the valuable resources used to produce and distribute food from going to waste.
Check out the downloadable tools below and food-saving tips linked Food: Too Good to Waste for tips to save money while reducing wasted food through proper planning and storing of materials.
Wasted food refers to edible food that is not eaten for one reason or another. Inedible food scraps such as banana peels, apple cores and bones are not included—they should be composted.
Learn the Labels
Best By, Best if Used By, Enjoy By: Relates to peak flavor or quality, not food safety.
Use By: Is for food that could become unsafe if not used before a certain date, such as meat, fish and dairy products. These are generally set by retailers or brands following guidance from health safety organization.
Sell By: The store must sell by this date or remove them from the shelves.
Depending on how you store or refrigerate certain foods you can extend or decrease shelf life of item. For example if potatoes and onions are stored together, the gas from the onions will cause the potatoes to sprout.
Cheese in sealed plastic will sweat from water evaporation, for a longer shelf life it is recommended to wrap cheese in wax paper.
Food Saving Tips
Food Waste Facts
Food Share and Food Donation
- The City of Culver City will soon have a food donation program. If you business is interested in participating please contact Cathi Vargas at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the program.
Film and Media
Plastic Bottle Waste
Do your part in reducing plastic bottle waste. Here are 4 simple ways to get started:
Discontinue purchasing plastic bottles. Instead, purchase a reusable bottle.
If you purchase a plastic bottled beverage, recycle it after use.
Purchase an at-home water filter to keep in your refrigerator.
Encourage reuse within your household and/or workplace.
Wasted Food At Your Business
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) issued a technical report and practical guide on food loss and waste measurement.
- "Why and How to Measure Food Loss and Waste: A Practical Guide" is an easy-to-use tool for businesses to apply in measuring the quantity of food wasted in their process activities. This new tool has the power to alter an organization's practices, reducing operational costs while also helping to reduce the environmental impacts of our food production system.
- The technical report, "Quantifying Food Loss and Waste and Its Impacts," that was released along with the guide, provides methods to quantify food loss and waste and food surplus across the supply chain, as well as tools to estimate the environmental, financial and social impacts of food loss and waste.
What to Do with Reusable Shopping Bags
Think outside of the grocery store
Most people are in the habit of bringing reusable bags to the grocery store but, they also work for other items too. Try carrying a few bags with you on any kind of shopping trip. Some retailers may even offer a bag credit.
Reuse them around the house/garage
Use reusable bags to store items in the closet or garage. You can use bags to separate clothes within a large storage bin. They fit into tight spaces and are easy to pull out because of the handles.
ChicoBag Company accepts reusable bags, functional or not. They will distribute to low income families or recycle them into new, useful products through partnerships with artists, crafters and non-profit organizations. Mail your unwanted reusable bags to: ChicoBag Company, c/o Zero Waste Program, 747 Fortress Street, Chico, CA 95973.
5 Everyday Items You can Reuse
- Old Clothes, Towels or Bedding: Cut them up and turn them into rags. Upcycle old clothes into a new outfit.
- Glass Jars can be reused as small containers to store odds and ends.
- According to the EPA, around 9, 600 tons of “used” paper towels are sent to the landfill every day (3.5 million every year). Try these ways to keep the waste to a minimum:
- store holiday lights by wrapping them around empty rolls to prevent tangling.
- make waterproof lint logs by reusing toilet paper rolls and dryer lint.
- Laundry Waste such as old dryer sheets can be reused as dusting rags, sucking up pet hair or even compostable seed pots.
- Save old toothbrushes to scrub hard to reach places such as underneath fixtures or in between tile.
From TerraCycle recycles, reuses and upcycles waste into innovative new materials and products, transforming the way we think of waste and what can be done with it. Terracycle offers free recycling programs for typically hard-to-recycle waste streams. Join their many programs to help reduce waste on our planet.
about What Goes Where, ask Recycle Coach or download the My Waste App
What's goes in your RECYCLE can and what goes in your Organics can posters:
Recycling and Organics tips: