We’ve put together a list of 18 ways to take on waste in 2018 and invite you to join us in a fun competition! Every time you do one of our tips take a picture, tag us (@imperfectfoods) and share it with us on social media using the hashtag #NewYearNoWaste. For each tip you complete, we’ll enter you into a drawing to win prizes like waste-free living gifts and free produce! Get your friends and family on board and let’s make 2018 the least wasteful year yet. Let’s do this!
1. Clean out your fridge! Start 2018 off with a clean slate. Clean your fridge now so you can take inventory of what you’ve got, spot patterns of waste, and have more room to store fresh produce properly.
2. Pickle or ferment something. These are two easy ways to keep extra produce from going to waste. Keep your eyes peeled for pickling and fermentable veggies like cucumbers, cabbage, chiles, and fennel to put in your next box!
3. Upcycle your Imperfect box! What will you do with yours? Help a friend move? Donate some books? Build the coolest cat fort on the planet?
4. Make a “root to leaf” recipe using an often-discarded part of a veggie. Using every part of the vegetables that you buy saves you money and prevents waste. Show some love for the leek greens, fennel fronds, kale stems, and carrot tops of the world!
5. Use reusable Tupperware (plastic/glass) for your next packed lunch. Bringing lunch to work saves money and is (usually!) healthier. Pack it in reusable Tupperware and you’ll also have a lighter environmental footprint.
6. Embrace seasonal eating. While everyone wants pumpkins at Halloween, squashes at Thanksgiving, and mandarins at Christmas, stores stop buying them after the holidays. But they’re still growing in fields, and they’re still perfectly delicious! Keep items like these from going to waste by cooking with them and showing some seasonal produce pride!
7. Try a #MeatlessMonday. Meat requires a lot of land, fossil fuels, and water to raise, so when we eat less of it (even for a day), we greatly reduce our footprint. Let your Imperfect veggies be the stars for a day!
8. Keep a waste journal for one day. Write down everything you throw out for a day to understand what you’re buying, eating, and wasting. This will help you make better decisions for your waistline and wallet, as well as the planet, for the rest of the year.
9. Take a selfie when using a reusable mug with your morning coffee. When you’re out and about, bring along a reusable mug so your caffeine habit doesn’t waste unnecessary trees.
10. Celebrate your leftovers! One of the easiest ways to waste less food is to embrace the joy of eating leftovers. Share yours with a friend, bring them to work, or show off a recipe that showcases them!
11. Make a cleaning solution with citrus peels. Think citrus peels go straight in the compost? Think again! Throw your citrus peels in a jar and cover with white vinegar to make a fragrant, effective, and non-toxic cleaning solution for your kitchen!
12. Cook with an unfamiliar piece of produce! Some weeks you’re bound to get produce you’ve never used before. Let’s embrace the challenge and make sure the odd produce of the world ends up on your plate instead of in the compost. Learn a new recipe and become a better cook!
13. Make a meal plan for the week. Planning out your meals ahead of time means smarter shopping, healthier eating, and less waste. What’s not to love? Let’s see those grocery lists and box customizations!
14. Organize a clothing swap. The average American throws out 82 lbs of clothing a year, which adds up to over 10 million TONS. Get your friends together and swap clothes instead of buying!
15. Freeze your unused produce/soup/curry/etc. It’s okay, we make too much food, too. This is where your freezer is your friend. Next time you’ve got extra, just label it, date it, and throw it in the freezer. Future you will be grateful!
16. Make stock/broth! One of the trendiest and most delicious things you can make is also one of the best uses for veggie scraps! Homemade stock is way better than anything you can buy in the store and is a great use for those leek greens, fennel tops, and celery cores.
17. Make an Imperfect smoothie! Smoothies are a delicious way to tackle two common New Year’s resolutions: eating more fruits and veggies and wasting less food. We love combining Imperfect fruits like apples and oranges with veggies like carrots, ginger, and kale.
18. Try composting. Cooking with fresh produce creates a lot of scraps. By composting, you keep these scraps out of the landfill and turn them into rich soil that helps grow even more food. Let’s see those compost selfies!
We’ll announce the 15 winners at the end of the month. Remember that the more tips you complete the more chances that you have to win. In the end, we all win when we waste less!