We’ve all heard that the kitchen is the heart of the home, but what’s the heart of the kitchen? Around here we believe it’s the pantry. And the fridge—which is really just a cold pantry, right? A happy and healthy kitchen is built on an organized and efficient foundation. Organizing your food storage areas not only benefits you—the quick cook, perfect lunch packer, speedy breakfast maker, and more—but it’s particularly integral to making the heart of your home a waste-free zone.
WHY IS REDUCING FOOD WASTE IMPORTANT?
According to EPA.gov, “About 95 percent of the food [US citizens] throw away ends up in landfills or combustion facilities. In 2013, we disposed more than 35 million tons of food waste. Once in landfills, food breaks down to produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.”
A key contributing factor to this waste is just the food we throw out at home. First and foremost, food waste is a misuse of resources and energy. Labor, water, time, fuel and more goes into getting our food from farms and factories to the store, and ultimately to our tables. When food goes uneaten, a portion of those resources can be counted as a 100% loss. And as mentioned above, while some of those factors affect the climate, the literal decomposition of our food in landfills (instead of in our stomachs) produces harmful greenhouse gasses.
Last, and most obvious, wasting food is just… well, wasteful! When world hunger and poverty is a reality that also hits close to our own homes, bringing food home from the store that eventually ends up in the garbage is a practice about which we should all feel a little guilty. But don’t beat yourself up just yet, we’re here to help change that!
LET’S GET STARTED!
Convenience is key when it comes to ensuring our food gets eaten. The easier we make it for ourselves to prepare our meals, the more likely we are to cook what we’d intended to cook instead of seeking a less time-consuming alternative. This same idea applies to packing lunches in the morning, making quick meals on the go, and just about every experience we have prepping and packing food. You’ve heard the saying, “work smarter, not harder”—now put it to use in your pantry.
So, first things first: organize it. Empty your shelves, racks, cubbies, and drawers and start by categorizing your food. Cans on one shelf, grains on another, baking supplies over here, spices up there, snacks under here, etc. This way, when it’s time to cook, bake or pack, you know where everything is and are able to access it easily. A great way to keep your pantry organized is by compartmentalizing and unifying. Storing your foods in standardized and cohesive containers means you can stack and pack them in neatly and save a ton of space. Our Reuseit Tritan Dry Storage Containers or Reuseit Snap Box Food Storage Containers are ideal solutions for this. Try them in your pantry or fridge for expertly organized results!
For the next step, keep your food in your sight! If “out of sight, out of mind” holds true, then the equal and opposite just might too. There is nothing worse than finding the bag of grapes you brought home two weeks too late, and seeing they’ve been reduced to a pile of yuck in the depths of your refrigerator behind the milk and two jars of pickles… Or you know wherever the place is in your home that your favorite foods go to be forgotten. No more! With our clear food storage containers and boxes (like the Reuseit Tritan Food Containers) you can always keep an eye on your foods. Even when your fridge is full, see through one container right to the one behind it so nothing can hide!
The final step may seem too simple too be true, but it really works. Just keep your food longer. Yes, seriously. With a variety of containers for all types of food, whether they need ventilating or to be closed tightly, our collection of reusable storage containers can help you keep your food longer than ever. Berries, veggies, rice, and grains all have a place where freshness can thrive. By expanding your window of opportunity to eat every item you bring home, you expand the odds of making it happen! From berry and banana bags, to herb keepers, produce containers & more, you’ll have the freshest ingredients always on hand in your kitchen.
By organizing, seeing, and properly storing our foods, we can all significantly reduce food waste in our homes. We love the idea of having a zero-waste philosophy at the heart of the home and, if we are being honest, it just makes your fridge and pantry look really great too!