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Reduce household food waste

Did you know that the U.S food waste accounts for:

  • 25% of all our fresh water use
  • Enough energy to power the country for more than a week
  • Enough land to feed the world’s hungry twice over

Wasting food means not only money down the drain, but all the energy, land, water, fertilizers and other inputs needed to grow and distribute that food in the first place. Food is wasted when we:

  1. Buy more than we need
  2. Store it incorrectly
  3. Throw away leftovers
  4. Cook too much

Everyday we are surrounded by opportunities to reduce our food waste. Join us in efforts to lower your grocery bills and environmental footprint by reducing your food waste.

    What you can do

    Follow these simple and informative “smart strategies” and other useful tips to help reduce your food waste at home! By making small shifts in how we shop, store, and prepare food, we can keep the valuable resources used to produce and distribute food from going to waste.

    1. Make a shopping list with meals in mind, and "shop" in your fridge and pantry before you go to the store to avoid duplicates. Download a "smart strategy" shopping list tool (PDF).
    2. Eat older stuff first. Download an “Eat Me First” prompt (PDF) to place next to food items in your fridge as a reminder, or designate a "use it up" shelf in the fridge.
    3. Buy less at a time. Patrol your pantry and think about how much food you’ll need for one or two weeks. This could help prevent you from purchasing too much food.
    4. Become storage savvy! Keep produce and other foods fresh by storing them properly. This A to Z storage guide (PDF) explains how to store all kinds of foods and is a great tool to keep on the fridge or use this interactive tool from Save the Food. This Fridge Organization Guide (PDF) shows you the best place in the refrigerator to store each kind of food to maximize freshness.
    5. Befriend your freezer. Lots of foods freeze well, and putting them in the freezer basically "pushes the pause button" to keep food from spoiling. 
    6. Love your leftovers! Here's a great leftovers recipe guide.
    7. Learn how to compost your food scraps at home.