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Food Waste Reduction Tips and Tricks

Tips for Reducing Food Waste

  1. Shop your refrigerator to avoid food waste.Keep track of the food you throw out to get a better sense of how to shop and adjust your grocery list accordingly.
  2. Before you shop, shop your fridge first! Plan your meals around foods you have and buy only what you need to make them.
    Making a grocery list before you shop can save a family of four $1,600 a year!
  3. Reorganize your fridge to keep produce and other perishables up front so they are used before they go bad. Find out how to store food and get recipes for leftovers here or follow BayROC on Facebook.
  4. Having a party? Plan how much you need to keep your guests full and happy while minimizing excess with the Guest-imator.
  5. Plan a meal using leftovers.
    Going out to eat? Order smaller portions or plan a meal using up any leftovers. Get recipe ideas here or
  6. Understand manufacturer dates. “Best by” and “Use by” dates are mainly suggestions. Except for infant formula, dates do not indicate the product’s safety and are not required by Federal law.
  7. Share your food. If you end up making more than you need, find a way to reuse the remaining food. Maybe enjoy the extras with your neighbors. Donations of foods you don’t plan to eat can be made to Second Harvest Food Bank. If your backyard fruit trees produce more than you can use, there are local groups that can pick and distribute the extras for others to use.
  8. Food scraps are the unavoidable waste products from food preparation. To keep them out of landfills, learn how to compost.

Food Waste Facts

  • More food ends up in landfills than anything else, accounting for roughly 18% of wastes.
  • In an enclosed landfill absent of oxygen, food waste quickly generates methane, a greenhouse gas (GHG) that warms the planet 86 times more than carbon dioxide.
  • In addition to methane, organic materials high in nitrogen, such as food scraps, also produce nitrous oxide (N2O) during decomposition in landfills, a GHG that is roughly 300 times worse than carbon dioxide.
  • Sending uneaten food and other organic waste into landfills releases more than 8.3 million tons of GHGs each year in California, contributing 20 percent of the state’s methane emissions.
  • Nationally, discarded food costs consumers and industry $162 billion each year.

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