Food Waste Prevention Tips for Residents

Estimates show that about 2,000 tons of food from Arcata goes to a landfill every year. This food breaks down and creates greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. You can save money and prevent food waste by taking steps before shopping, when shopping, and at home:

1) Before shopping:

  • Use what you have.
  • Repurpose leftovers.
  • Turn produce that's past its prime into soups, sauces, pies or smoothies.
  • Plan meals ahead to make sure you use what you have.
  • Make a shopping list to prevent overbuying.

2) When shopping:

  • Buy less and shop more often.
  • Shop locally so food is at its peak when purchased.
  • Buy bulk grains, beans, and pastas so you buy only the amount you need.

3) Once at home:

  • Prepare foods ahead of time and store them in the fridge or freezer.
  • Keep foods in air-tight containers to increase longevity.
  • Preserve by pickling, canning, fermenting, drying or making jam.
  • Store foods appropriately in the kitchen. See additional resources.
  • Make soup stock with commonly discarded vegetable parts.
  • Freeze foods like vegetables, fruit, soup, stock and tomato sauce.
  • Learn about expiration dates on packaged foods. 

Check out the Environmental Protection Agency's "Food Recover Hierarchy" web page for more information on food waste prevention and sustainable management of food,