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Reduce Your Waste

Reduce Your Waste

Lower your grocery bills and environmental footprint by reducing your food waste.

Whether you are at home, school, or work, you are surrounded by opportunities to reduce food waste. So where do you begin?

The first step is to make a game plan.

Identify areas for improvement and choose your favorite strategies for cutting waste.

After signing Food Shift’s pledge to reduce waste, select a few strategies from this section to save money and tackle waste in your home, school, or workplace. Before you know it, you’ll be a food waste warrior with a useful toolkit of tips to share with friends and family!

At Home…

Become storage savvy

Become storage savvy

1. Patrol your pantry. Assess what you already have in your fridge and cabinets, identifying which items should be eaten soonest. To keep your kitchen waste-free, make meals that incorporate these foods!

2. Become Storage Savvy. Not sure the best way to store cooked beans or whether you can freeze dairy? Consult the A-Z Food Storage Tip Guide to learn how to keep food fresh longer.

While food holds a place in our hearts, it’s sometimes hard to know whether it also holds a place in the fridge or on the counter.

Inside the Fridge

  • Apples, berries, cherries, grapes, kiwi, lemons, and oranges.
  • Almost all vegetables and herbs
  • Keep cilantro fresh up to two weeks longer by placing stems in water and covering the greens in a plastic bag

After ripening at room temperature
Melons, nectarines, apricots, peaches, plums, avocados, pears, tomatoes

Keep celery and lettuce crisp by cutting ends and storing upright in jar of water in fridge door

Outside the Fridge

Store in a cool place
Bananas, mangos, papayas, pineapples

Store in a cool, dark place
Potatoes, onions

Store at room temperature
Basil, winter squashes (once cut, store squashes in fridge)

More Storage Tips

  • Remember, your freezer is your friend!
  • Slow spoilage by storing fruits and vegetables in separate bins. Fruits can give off natural gases that hasten the spoilage of nearby produce, so store bananas, apples, and tomatoes by themselves.
  • Use storage bags and containers designed to extend produce life.
  • To prevent mold, wash berries just before eating.
  • If you prefer fruit at room temperature, take what you will eat for the day out of the fridge in the morning.

3. Get creative with your leftovers.

  • Make stock from vegetable trimmings or a chicken carcass.
  • Tranform leftover bread into croutons or bread pudding.
  • Stir-fry leftover veggies, meat, and rice.
  • Chop and freeze aging fruit to save for yummy smoothies.
  • download the leftoverswap app to give or receive excess food from people in your community.
  • Find more leftover ideas here

4. Understand food dates. Often ‘use by’ and ‘sell by’ dates do not accurately indicate food safety. Besides those on infant formula and some baby food, these dates are not federally regulated, so it is important to understand how to best store our food. Curious about how long food really lasts? Check out for an informative perspective on food shelf life, safety, recipes, and more!

5. Nourish your community. Moving? Going on vacation? Certain you won’t eat that tomato soup in your cupboard? Share food with neighbors or donate to your local food bank.

Lots of people need food. You can use craigslist, freecycle or yerdle to find your food a good home.

6. Create your own compost bin or find out more about your area’s compost program. For a complete A-Z guide on composting, go here.

7. Track your trash. Choose two weeks to list everything you throw out. At the end of those weeks, evaluate the list and learn to purchase and store better next time. Use Food Shift’s food waste conversion calculator  to measure your impact.

Share your tips and learn more on Food Shift’s facebook page.

Read other tips about reducing food waste at the market, in your schooleating out, in your business and why all of this matters.

A Note from Food Shift on COVID-19

An update on Food Shift's response to COVID-19: for the people, by the people, and with the people.