When I work in cluttered kitchens with clients, I always find piles of expired food hiding in the back of cupboards, and fridges busting with old condiments that are way past their due date. Through these experiences I’ve seen the connection between being organized and reducing waste in the kitchen.
In Canada alone, $31 billion worth of food ends up in landfills or composters each year, according to a 2014 report from Value Chain Management International. The report also found that Canadian households are responsible for 41% of food waste found in landfills each year! Getting organized can help reduce your waste, save you time and also help you eat healthier.
Benefits of Buying In Bulk and Eating Whole Foods
Saves time, saves money, and reduces waste: Buying in bulk is key! There’s nothing more satisfying than having jars in a cupboard lined up with healthy food and knowing that you have saved a ton of money from avoiding fancy, marketed packaging.
Less Packaging: Think of how much packaging and production is involved in your regular purchases, like tea. I prefer to buy loose teas from herbal dispensaries like The Herbal Clinic and Dispensary, where I am able to separate loose teas like lavender, chamomile, and lemon grass and customize each cup of tea.
Healthier: Typically whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and fresh meats are fresher and healthier than purchasing canned or frozen food. The Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment notes that food transported long distances is not likely to be as nutritious as food grown and consumed locally. Buying fresh also ensures items are eaten, instead of become expired clutter in the back of a pantry.
Getting Started – Resources & Organizations
A&E Fine Foods – if you have a big family and/or want to buy organic, affordable, and in bulk with others, try this company that’s been around since 1978! They deliver within the Toronto area on Thursdays (free delivery if your order is over $300). This may sound like a lot but having used their service a number of times, I’m amazed at the prices and quality.
Flashfood – is an innovative app created by Josh Domingues that helps you buy high end food at drastically reduced prices that would otherwise be thrown out that day. Read their story here and learn more about how you can save money, eat healthy food, and divert food waste from landfills.
Not Far From the Tree – a long standing local Toronto non-for-profit organization that will harvest fruit off trees at local homes and are distributed between the homeowner, their volunteers, and local food banks, shelters and community kitchens.
Getting organized (and in turn reducing your waste) requires time, patience and the acknowledgement that it’s a process. Although I’m the most organized person of anyone I know, I still find more and more ways to save time and be more mindful of my waste.
This can be done on a larger scale when looking at the waste your business or larger corporation. Waste management for businesses is a great way to connect and create positive change.
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