Quick guide on how to avoid food waste
Imagine going to the supermarket, buying three bags of food and throwing one of them straight into the bin. The majority of food waste happens in private households; even more than in manufacturing, in the catering industry or in retail. In total, about 60 kg of food is wasted per Austrian per year. We think that doesn’t have to be the case!
With our 5 tips, we show you how you can easily avoid wasting food and thus protect the climate.
Shopping package free
By shopping without packaging, you kill two birds with one stone: you reduce packaging waste such as plastic, aluminium or paper and you can take exactly the amount of food you really need. This way, you avoid big packaging, half of which usually ends up in the trash. You can find unpacked food in packaging free stores, at the markets, but you can also look for it in the fruit and vegetable section of a conventional supermarket.
Extra tip: Shopping package free in Vienna is actually very easy. We have listed all the possibilities for you. You come from another part of Austria? No problem either. Just check the article for your region.
To the very last leaf
Ever tried cauliflower leaves or broccoli stems? Often large portions of vegetables are thrown away even though they are edible and actually very nutritious. Next time cook cauliflower with its leaves, peel the broccoli stalk and eat it raw or cooked. Radish or carrot greens can also end up in wonderful salads or pestos. And with the no longer edible leftovers, such as coffee grounds, you can make a rich scrub!
Extra tip: Clean with your leftovers! You can pickle orange and lemon peels in vinegar and turn them into a natural cleaning agent.
Storing food properly
Storing food properly pays off, you can often extend its shelf life by several days, if not weeks! Get smart about this and try to be especially mindful of foods you probably won’t consume in the next few days. Check out the A-Z on storing vegetables, fruits and other foods.
Extra tip: Use wax cloths to keep your food fresh for an extra long time. They are available, for example, handmade from the Weinviertel region by Jaus’nwrap or even as an upcycled product by Beeo fix.
Find like-minded people and share tips and tricks with them on Facebook or other Internet forums. Or challenge your friend group to whip up a new dish each week using leftovers from the fridge. Share your successes with each other through photos and express your culinary creativity.
Extra tip: Have you heard of the app Too Good To Go? Here you can save food from retails, bakeries or restaurants from the garbage can. You can also rescue food with the Brot Pilots: every Saturday, two markets sell rescued bread from the day before.
Love all the shapes
Often fruits and vegetables are not sold because of the smallest scrape, bump or imperfection – customers prefer completely flawless food. So be the hero and take the crooked cucumber, the crazy looking apple or the banana with the small brown spot. This way, you can make a contribution so that these valuable foods are not left behind at the end of the day and thrown away.
Extra tip: Want more? Then check out the Viennese food startup Unverschwendet. Since 2015, they have made it their mission to save as much food as possible from the garbage can and transform hundreds of kilos of visually flawed fruits and vegetables into delicious jams, chutneys and spreads every year. Delicious gift idea!
We at Zero Waste Austria are a young association committed to prevent waste and conserve resource in all areas of life. Our expertise ranges from waste prevention at home or in offices to curbing food waste in general or advising companies on their wasting & rescuing habits. Our team is largely made up of volunteers who have put their hearts and souls into the Zero Waste movement. Read more about food waste in our Food Waste Status Report for Austria.