Published: Oct. 20, 2021 By

Living on a college budget is hard enough when grocery shopping and meal prepping for yourself. It can be time consuming, stressful, and expensive to properly plan and cook each meal to properly sustain yourself. However, it is estimated by the USDA that 30-40% of food produced in America is wasted!! This is approximately $161 billion worth of food!

Food Waste

Food loss occurs for many reasons, one of which being spoilage. If we all worked to reduce the amount of food spoilage we personally create, this could mean huge savings in water, energy, and land mass!! To read more about statistics regarding food waste in the US, check out this article written by our own KV on the ZWOT team!









The importance of a grocery list

Most spoilage can be avoided by simply planning out the week ahead and deciding which meals will be made throughout the week. Meal prepping is an extremely efficient way to reduce food waste while eating healthy, nourishing meals throughout your busy week! You will probably even realize how much money will be saved in the process.

Don’t know where to start? Check out this easy beginners guide provided by Sustainably Yours.









How to store produce without plastic (while extending freshness!!)

The Berkeley Farmers Market has created an excellent guide to storing produce without plastic! For the entire guide regarding all of your favorite produce items, check it out here! In the meantime, here are my personal favorites:

  • Carrots: Cut the greens off the top and place root in a closed container with plenty of moisture (wrap a damp towel around them or submerge them in cold water every couple of days)

  • Avocados: Place in a paper bag at room temperature (To speed up ripening, add an apple to the bag!)

  • Basil: Store in an airtight container left out on a counter loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside

  • Brussel Sprouts: Store in an open container with a damp towel on top

  • Corn: Leave unhusked in an open container inside the fridge

  • Celery: Place stalks in a small container of water left on the counter

  • Greens: Kale, collards, and chard do best in a cup of water inside the fridge (Remove all bands/twist ties)

  • Spinach: Store loose in an open container inside the crisper (spinach loves to be cool)

  • Potatoes: Store in a cool dark place outside the fridge (inside a cardboard box or paper bag)

  • Tomatoes: Never refrigerate!! To slow ripeness, place in a paper bag with an apple

  • Zucchini: Wrap in a damp cloth and refrigerate!

USE your freezer!!!

The freezer is made for more than just ice cream! You might be shocked at how much you can freeze and this fridge feature can greatly help you to decrease the amount of food waste you generate. Here are some items that can lasts months in the freezer:

  • Bread

  • Grated cheese

  • Milk

  • Whole pieces of ginger

  • Ripening bananas

    • (Perfect for smoothies!)

  • All fruit!!

    • Smoothies bowls are great for the soul

  • Store veggie peelings, herb stalks, and even chicken bones in a bag in the freezer

    • Add to boiling water to create a delicious stock

  • Squeezed lemon and lime rinds

    • Use as ice cubes or grate them straight into rice or couscous

Slight warning: It is completely safe to freeze food but make sure to defrost meat, fish, and cooked leftovers before reheating. It is safe to eat fruit and vegetables straight from the freezer!


Various Remaining Hacks

  • Remove labels from glass jars and reuse them!

    • Never spend money on mason jars again by using this hack to remove labels from pasta or pickle jars to create a new cup or container!

  • Always choose aluminum or glass packaging when possible

  • Buy in bulk!

  • Buy from the farmer’s market

The farmers market in Boulder occurs every Saturday and Wednesday until Nov 20, 2021! Buy your produce fresh from local farmers!