A great deal of waste is generated in kitchens; fruit bits, cores, vegetable peelings, cooked and uncooked leftovers, coffee grinds, tea bags, egg shells and so on. Almost every home has food waste that is usually thrown away and this contributes to the size of landfill sites. Organic food waste can be recycled in so many ways that it seems a crime to trash what you can put to good use to save the environment. Here are 10 ways to recycle the food waste in your kitchen.
PUT FOOD WASTE TO USE AT HOME
Here are a few tips that you can try to put food waste to good waste at your home.
1. USE FOOD WASTE TO MAKE COMPOST
You can save all your food scraps in a large covered trash bin; fruit cores, vegetable peels, leftover cooked vegetables, coffee grounds, filter papers, tea bags, egg shells paper tissues and towels and so on. Do not collect meat, dairy and fish products. When your compost collection bin is full, take it to your garden, dig a pit and bury all the food wastes in it and cover it with earth. Over time, the food wastes will biodegrade and turn into good quality compost that you can use in your garden.
2. RECYCLE DECORATIVELY
Paint funny cartoon characters or random designs on whole egg shells and make colorful bouquets out of them. They make for an interesting centerpiece or a mantelpiece decoration. You can also think of making a creative and colorful egg shell mosaic and hang it on your wall.
3. MAKE A FRUIT VINEGAR
Collect fruit peelings in a bowl and store them in the fridge so they don’t spoil. You can collect mango, apple, chico, banana, pineapple or even grape peels. Add to them half a cup of brown sugar and 4 cups water and stir well. Pour this mixture into a bottle or jar and seal it with cheese cloth and rubber band. It takes just over a month for your fruit vinegar to ferment and go sweet and sour. Make sure you stir the mixture every few days and seal it again.
4. MAKE CITRUS PEEL CANDIES
The next time you eat oranges for breakfast, or peel lemons, tangerine or grapefruit, gather and store their peels in your fridge. Make sure you remove the white rind from your peelings to avoid the bitter taste. Boil 2 cups of peelings with enough water in a saucepan for 4 minutes, rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly. Now melt half a cup of sugar in a skillet and add the peelings to it. Heat slowly till the peels candy; you can eat the candies as they are or add them to desserts and cocktails.
5. OTHER CREATIVE IDEAS FOR RECYCLING FOOD WASTE
• Add leftover dry pasta, even if in different shapes into casseroles, soups or rice and vegetable dishes for a quick meal.
• Don’t throw away the water in which you steam veggies; this water contains valuable nutrients and can be used as a natural plant fertilizer.
• If you have leftover coffee in the percolator, pour it into icecubes and use the cubes in iced coffee.
• If you have too much egg yolk, pour it into icecube trays and use them in dishes later.
• Make croutons out of leftover stale bread, or break it up and feed to birds and squirrels in the local park.
DONATE FOOD WASTE
If you don’t have the means or the time to creatively recycle your food waste, donation is always an option.
6. DONATE TO THE LOCAL HOMELESS SHELTER
As long as you ensure that the food you’re donating is edible and clean, there’s no reason why you cannot donate it to soup kitchens for the homeless. You cannot donate peels and such waste; if you have spare cuts of meat, fatty layers that you won’t use, chicken skin and so on you can collect them in airtight containers and donate to a soup kitchen.
7. DONATE TO ORGANIC WASTE FACILITIES
Donate your food waste to the town solid organic waste facility. Obtain a kitchen caddy from your local authority to collect food waste, minus any plastic wrappings. The collected scraps will be taken to be commercially composed at a local facility, to be used later in landscaping, horticulture and agriculture.
8. DONATE ORGANIC WASTE TO OFFICE COMPOST HEAPS
Check if gardeners at your workplace have set up compost buckets and donate your scraps to them. The more you contribute to the green factor, the greater your service to the planet.
9. DONATE ORGANIC FEED AS ANIMAL FEED
Mix up your organic feed into a large bucket and feed it to farm animals. If you don’t have farm animals, you can always donate your food waste to nearby farmers.
10. DONATE TO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY CENTERS
If your town has a natural energy creation center that biodegrades food waste to create methane, it’s a good idea to find out where the center is. For example, Seattle uses food waste to create alternative energy by separating food waste and sprinkling it with bacteria to encourage food break down. The food waste is then compacted into airtight anaerobic digester containers, where the food starts decomposing. The decomposition releases large amounts of methane, which is collecting to be used as a source of alternative energy.
About the Author
Marina is a freelance writer and co-owner of hall and foyer table store located at – HallandFoyerTables.Com.