Clean up your act and chew on these doable hacks to cut down on food waste in Singapore.
This might come as a shock to you. But did you know Singaporeans generated 744,000 tonnes of food waste in 2019? That’s equivalent to the weight of 51,000 double-decker buses! While we’ve talked about making concrete changes to living a plastic-free and zero-waste lifestyle, we can also help to reduce food wastage in Singapore with a few simple and totally doable hacks.
How to reduce food waste in Singapore
1. Make a meal plan
It helps to think ahead – plan your week and be realistic about it. If you’re going to dine out three out of seven days (and you know you will), count them in. For days when you’re eating at home, list down the dishes you’ll cook. The more defined your calendar, the better. It’ll save you money and reduce food waste. Get a cute printable menu planner, spend an afternoon browsing recipes and you’re sorted. Can’t cook or hate the clean-up that comes after? Sign up for one of these healthy meal delivery services.
2. List it all down
With your plan in hand, shop according to your recipe. Leave a notepad on your kitchen counter or print out a shopping list. Better yet, do it on a white or black board on your fridge. Tech savvy, are we? Use Google Keep or Evernote to keep tabs on what’s running out in the fridge. Add your family to a collaborative list, so everyone’s in the know and you don’t end up with five tubs of yogurt.
3. Take a shelfie
Don’t have time to make a list and check it twice? We feel ya – just take a shelfie on your way out. Even if you have a detailed grocery list, it helps to know what’s on your shelf at home. A few quick pictures of the items in your fridge and pantry will help you shop responsibly and in smaller quantities. No guessing games here…
4. Donate to food banks
While the average household wastes food daily, one in 10 Singaporeans struggles to meet their basic food requirements, according to local NGO One Singapore. Plus, one in three elderly aren’t eating right either. Do your bit by choosing to donate excess edibles to food banks across the island like Food Bank Singapore, Willing Hearts, Food from the Heart and more.
5. Show leftovers some love
It’s inevitable. Leftovers are a part of our lives and we just can’t escape them. But just because items are a smidge bruised or old doesn’t make them unfit to eat. Designate one dinner a week to finish up all your leftovers. With a little creativity and some effort (and by that we mean camping out on Pinterest), leftovers can easily be transformed into gourmet meals. Think overripe fruits and veggies for breakfast smoothies, banged up tomatoes for pasta sauce, cooked meat shredded into salads and what not. For a little inspiration, here’s a list of our fave five-ingredient recipes.
6. Store items properly
Not all fruits and vegetables are supposed to go into the fridge. Some are the best kept at room temperature and then transferred to the refrigerator to increase their shelf life. Mind blown? Put your Googling skills to use and research how to store things the right way. For starters, did you know lettuce lasts longer when washed, thoroughly dried, wrapped in paper towels and stored in the refrigerator in a reusable, airtight plastic bag?
7. Avoid going for too much
Think about it – serving yourself a large portion (especially when you’re hungry) often leads to food wastage. Make a conscious effort to serve smaller portions and go back for seconds or thirds. That’s if you really need it. And the same goes for ordering at restaurants. If you do end up with more food than you can finish, don’t be embarrassed to pack it all up for takeaway. We do it all the time and nobody bats an eyelid.
Follow these simple steps to combat food wastage in Singapore!