With days turning longer and warmer weather returning to Central Ohio, many families are looking forward to (safe) gatherings this Spring, starting with the Passover and Easter holidays. But with holidays come large meals for family and friends, often leading to unnecessary food waste at the end of the celebration. In Franklin County, nearly a million pounds of food waste arrives at the landfill every day. But through reducing our waste, composting and recycling, we can all play a huge part in redirecting materials that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.
Tips to Reduce Food Waste This Spring
- Shop Smart, Plan Meals – Before you head to the store, make a grocery list of what you have on hand so you don’t end up with duplicates at home, some of which may go bad before you can use them. Check out this Guest-imator tool to help determine how much food to purchase for your next gathering.
- Imperfectly Perfect Food – That crooked carrot, the apple with the slightly odd coloring, the tomato that’s less than round – these one-of-a-kind produce items may not be perfect, but they’re just as delicious as those that are. Look for the ‘imperfect produce’ section at your local grocery, or consider shopping with some online food retailers that specialize in selling food that would have otherwise gone to waste.
- Love Your Leftovers – Even with careful planning, it’s inevitable that you’ll have leftover food. When planning your gathering, stock up on some extra food storage containers to send your guests home with tomorrow’s lunch.
- Get Creative – Did you keep leftovers for yourself, but don’t want to recreate the same meal? Check out SavetheFood.com for some inspiring recipes and ways to use those leftovers, food scraps or imperfect items. Find additional tips and recipe collections here.
Luckily, Spring is also an ideal time to get outdoors and get composting! Composting food waste is a great way to create nutrient rich soil for gardens, while redirecting food that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Click here for SWACO’s introductory guide to backyard composting.
If backyard composting isn’t for you, a growing number of Central Ohio communities have launched community compost drop-off programs where residents can drop off food scraps free of charge. These SWACO-funded community drop-off composting sites are below:
- Westerville: Westerville Public Service, 350 Park Meadow Road, Westerville, OH 43081; and, Westerville Parks Maintenance, 469 Westdale Avenue, Westerville, OH 43081
- Upper Arlington: Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road, Upper Arlington; Amelita Mirolo Barn, 4395 Carriage Hill Lane, Upper Arlington, OH 43220; and Fancyburg Park, 3375 Kioka Avenue.
- Hilliard: 3740 Municipal Way, Hilliard, OH 43026
- Grandview Heights: 1525 Goodale Boulevard, Grandview Heights, OH 43212
- Grove City: 2803 Southwest Boulevard, Grove City, OH 43123 (starting April 5, 2021!)
- Dublin: Service Center (parking lot), 6555 Shier Rings Road, Dublin, OH 43017
We all have an important role to play in reducing waste in our community. For more tips on how to reduce food waste any time of year, click here.
Together, we can make a difference.