Reduce Food Waste

The number 1 thing you can do to improve the impact you have on the planet is reduce your food waste. 

Whatever diet you choose meat-eating, vegan, pescatarian, vegetarian there are many factors that influence the footprint of your food (what meats you eat, how often, pasture-raised, seafood source, if your food is organic, local, home-grown etc). BUT whatever you choose to eat, if you do not waste any of it, our planet will be grateful. 

Avoiding food waste ranks top in the Project Drawdown list of solutions to climate change! This list records what we can do to reduce carbon emissions in order of impact and reducing food waste is the most effective thing we can do and something we can easily address at home.

One estimate by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations puts food lost and wasted at one-third of all food produced. Now lots of this happens before it reaches our homes, but, in Australia, one in five shopping bags ends up in the bin. In WA, our Waste Authority tells us we average 4kg of wasted food per household per week!

How to avoid food waste?


1. Cut food waste out at the source

  • Meal plan.
  • Weekly fridge check (before you make your shopping list).
  • Shop from a list.
  • NEVER shop when you’re hungry!
  • Order your food shop online to cut out impulse buying if this is a problem for you.
  • Batch cook and freeze in individual portions for a quick, waste-free meal.
  • At the end of each month ‘Eat your Pantry’ – instead of shopping use whatever you already have. You might be surprised at what great meals you can make.
  • Use the whole food – for example, the broccoli stem is just as good as the florets, chop it small and add it to whatever you’re cooking.

2. Store food well 

  • Store fruits and veggies appropriately to make them last longer, for example, carrots and celery last longer stored in water.
  • Place anything that needs eating soon at eye level in your fridge, including leftovers.
  • Pack leftovers in individual portions for waste-free lunches.
  • Make stews, soups, stir-fries or stock with food items that are not so fresh.
  • Freeze fast – freeze food before it goes bad. You can freeze so many things, for example, chop herbs and freeze in butter in ice cube trays.

3. Grow your own food

  • Growing some of your food allows you to harvest on demand (a great place to start is with herbs or citrus).
  • Consider joining your local community garden and sourcing some of your food from there, hyper-local and packaging free!
  • You can regrow lots of veggies from the ‘ends’ for example spring onions, leeks, celery, bok choi, place them in some water and once they start reshooting plant them in your garden or a pot in the sunshine.


If you do have food waste (some is inevitable) see our earlier article ‘Let’s get Food Waste out of Landfill’ for what to do with it.