Do you store your leftovers in the fridge only to toss them a few days later? Or throw that bruised apple that travelled to school and back into the green bin?
It’s estimated that more than 18,000 tonnes of food waste from the region is sent to composting facilities each year.
Further, despite being banned from the Hartland Landfill several years ago, a 2016 Capital Regional District’s waste stream study found that avoidable food waste such as wilted lettuce, stale bread and leftovers, still makes up about 10 per cent of the region’s overall waste going to the landfill.
“Although kitchen scraps were banned from Hartland Landfill in 2015, reducing food waste in our region continues to be a priority area, especially as it relates to both the 3Rs – REDUCE first, REUSE second and RECYCLE or COMPOST third – and extending the lifespan of Hartland Landfill,” says Russ Smith, senior manager of the CRD’s Environmental Resource Management team.
All that waste not only impacts the space in the landfill, but also people’s bank accounts.
According to the national Love Food Hate Waste project, the average Canadian household throws away about $1,100 worth of groceries that could have otherwise been eaten – every year!
To raise awareness about the volume of avoidable food waste produced each year – and most importantly how to avoid it – the CRD is working with the Love Food Hate Waste project to share information about food expiry dates, food storage and preservation, nutritional uses for past-prime fruits and vegetables and a whole lot more.
With the long weekend coming up, here are 5 tips for avoiding food waste this Thanksgiving:
- Make room for holiday food. Before the long weekend, use up food in your refrigerator and freezer to make room for new Thanksgiving leftovers.
- Make a plan for your leftovers. Add ingredients that you’ll need for turkey soup or sandwiches to your Thanksgiving grocery list (here are a few recipe ideas).
- Share! Sharing leftovers is as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey fatigue and pumpkin pie. Ask your guests to bring re-usable containers for leftovers.
- Try a self-serve approach. Eat family-style and encourage guests to serve themselves. They’ll be able to choose what they want to eat and how much, which makes it less likely that you’ll have to dispose of food that was served but not eaten.
- Store safely. Don’t let the food sit on the table for hours. Store your leftovers safely – get them into the fridge within two hours.