With cooler temperatures breezing in, so are new ways to reduce food waste and keep your home running sustainably. About 35% of food in the United States goes unsold or uneaten. Of that, 43% of food waste – 27 million tons annually – occurs at home. Each year, American consumers spend $144 billion dollars on food that they ultimately just throw away.
Making small changes in your lifestyle is a simple, yet effective way to live a more sustainable life. Less food waste overall means more food in the stomachs of the 38 million food insecure Americans, as well as a healthier ecosystem.
Here are 6 ways you can live sustainably this Fall:
Purchasing fruits and veggies from your local farmer’s market is the best way to buy fresh, ripe, and seasonally appropriate foods. It’s also a great way to support local small businesses and farms. Don’t forget to bring your reusable grocery bags!
If you don’t have a local farmer’s market, many grocery stores buy produce from local farms. Buying locally purchased foods from grocery stores is a good alternative to support local communities.
Decorating pumpkins and creating Jack O’ Lanterns for Halloween is a super fun way to get into the Fall spirit. But did you know that over 1 billion pumpkins are thrown away each year – with most being thrown away shortly after Halloween? The great news is each part of the pumpkin can be used in a variety of different ways without having to throw them away.
When carving your pumpkin, make sure to save the guts and seeds in a container. Pumpkin seeds become a delicious snack when roasted – make sure to use seasoning to make them even yummier!
Pumpkin guts can be pretty versatile and used for an arrangement of recipes throughout the year.
Here are 4 different ways you can use your pumpkin guts:
Apple picking is a favorite Fall-themed activity for many people. From picking baskets (upon baskets) of apples to fresh apple pies to delicious caramel apples, it’s understandable that many go home with more apples than they know what to do with.
Luckily (and similarly to pumpkins), apples can be used in many different ways without ever having to go into the trash can.
Here are 5 ways to get the most out of your apples:
Each year, more than 600 million pounds of Halloween candy is purchased by Americans – and most of that is individually wrapped in plastics. Instead of contributing to the mountain of candy given out yearly, here are a few different options you can give out as sustainable treats:
Preserving vegetables before they go bad is an old practice for reducing food waste. Originally, preserved vegetables were placed in storage until the harvest season was over, and once the temperatures dropped and fresh food became more scarce, families would rely on preserved veggies to get them through the winter.
Preserving is still a great practice to reduce your overall food waste. Learn more on how to preserve with Ohio State University’s guide on the basics of canning.
Composting is a foolproof, year-round practice for reducing food waste and living sustainably. Between Halloween parties, carving pumpkins, apple picking, and Thanksgiving, this season is full of yummy food that doesn’t have to end up in the trash.
Make sure to throw any leftover food scraps from the many Fall activities in the compost for nutritious fertilizer in the springtime!
Simple steps can be taken every day to be more sustainable at home. Incorporating these tips into your life will not only save you money but the earth too!