Don’t let leftovers go to waste.
Instead of throwing out old leftovers, compost what you can. By composting, food waste is diverted from going to the landfill where they would eventually break down and be emitted as methane into the atmosphere. In fact, every year, food loss and waste in the US is equal to the annual CO2 emissions of 42 coal-fired power plants. Ouch. Thankfully, the simple act of composting your uneaten leftovers can make a difference for our environment. Compost helps retain moisture in the soil, promotes healthy plant growth — which helps plants act as a carbon sink by using CO2 for leaf growth —and makes it easier to grow food, especially in places facing droughts, soil degradation, extreme weather, and other adverse conditions. So, what’s a simple way to know what you can compost? Just look at the zones in your fridge.
- Fruit - apples, bananas, pears, grapes, berries, etc.
- Vegetables - potatoes, carrots, cabbage and kale leaves, winter squash shells, corn husks/cobs, etc.
- Egg shells (paper egg cartons, too)
- Tea bags (remove the staple!)
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Grains (breads, cereals, rice, pastas, etc.)
- Nut shells
- Fruit pits
- Bottle corks
Do Not Compost
- Dairy products
- Fish scraps
- Any plastic or stickers from fruit/veggies
- Styrofoam or plastic containers from your takeout
- Grease, butter, cooking oil, and animal fat
- Charcoal from your grill out
Of course, the best way to keep food from going to waste is to eat it. And the best way to do that is to make sure you can keep it fresh as long as possible in an Element refrigerator or freezer! Bring it home.