Food waste is the number one occupant in landfills in the US. According to a recent study, American households toss out 150,000 tons of food each day which breaks down to roughly a pound of food per person per day. About 50% of all produce in the United States is thrown away annually for a multitude of reasons, but much of it can actually be composted or reused.
Here are five earth-friendly ways you can reuse food scraps.
1. Get cooking!
Many veggies and fruits produce scraps that can be used to liven up a recipe. Corn cobs, kale stems, and even stale bread can be used in recipes so those scraps get a chance to show you what they’ve got, and you can benefit from their vitamins and nutrients.
2. Give your garden a treat
Cracking open an egg and throwing the shell in the trash is super wasteful considering how useful eggshells are in the garden as fertilizers. Eggshells add calcium into the soil, and the jagged and sharp edges can also help deter any slugs and other critters than get into your plants and produce.
If you can crack the egg at the very top, you can also wash and reuse the shell as little plant potters to sprout seedlings.
3. Show your hair some love
Carrot oil is incredibly beneficial for your hair and can help heal damaged strands and stimulate hair growth. Simply save about ten carrots’ worth of peels in the freezer. When you’re ready to go, throw them into a pot or slow cooker and cover it with an oil of your choice such as coconut oil. Set on the lowest setting for at least 24 hours, strain, and store in a jar for up to six months.
4. Use fine coffee grounds as a skin exfoliant
Coffee grounds are a great way to wake up and smooth out your skin while nourishing it with antioxidants. The grounds are just the right size and texture to exfoliate, and the caffeine grounds help combat cellulite by tightening the skin and increasing blood flow. Combine the grounds with coconut or olive oil and store in a jar.
5. Feed your feathered friends some bacon grease
Pour used bacon grease into a used tin can and attach it to a tree, or spread the grease on pinecones and then roll them in birdseed. You can also turn bacon grease into candles, but only if you love the smell of bacon filling your home.
6. Dye some fabric with onion skins
The pigment in onion skins can made into color dyes for fabric. Simply combine a hefty amount of onion skins, red or yellow, and let them simmer for an hour. Once you’ve reached your ideal shade strain the skins and soak the fabric. You’ll want to soak the fabrics alone in hot water first! Yellow skins create a yellow shade ranging from light to a deep gold depending on how many skins you use and how long you let them simmer. Red onions provide an earthy shade of brown.