3 smart tips to prevent food waste at home

In the journey of growing up, I’ve always heard one sentence after completing my supper:“Clean your plate! There are starving kids in Africa.”

Well, my reply always had been: “So, go and give them this food. “

I never took this sentence from my parents so seriously until I had a glance at what is to starve for food myself. That started happening during college when I was studying late night in my hostel and I had to wait till morning to get something.  

Of course, my hunger was nothing compared to people who are really suffering from starvation and malnutrition. Yet, the horrible feeling of my stomach asking for food while there was nothing I could do about it made me understand why my parents kept telling me to value my meals.

One fine day when I actually watched a documentary on how these kids in Africa and various parts of the world were really starving, and I felt guilty about myself. I felt guilty about how I never respected food

Over a billion tonnes of food is wasted worldwide each year.

“When food goes to waste, so does everything it takes to get it to our plates – water, land, energy, and money,” as said by Dana Gunders, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council in the US.

She added “A whopping 24 per cent of global agricultural freshwater is used to grow food that is never eaten. In fact, if global food waste was a country, it would have the largest carbon footprint after the US and China. And at least in the US, food is also the number one product being tossed into landfills. It’s tragic to see this waste alongside the fact that when over 800 million people are hungry.”

But could all these discussions actually instill some sensitivity in us? Or just got spoken about and moved on with?

We all know that there’s a lot more to add, but let’s not be depressed and actually talk about how we can prevent food wastage.

It all starts from our own home 😊

1. Practice FIFO

FIFO stands for First In, First Out.

While we unpack groceries, we should move older products to the front portion of the fridge/freezer/pantry and put new products in the back.

This way, we’re more likely to use up the older stuff before it expires and prevent it from being thrown away into landfills.

2. Freeze!

There are a lot of food items that can be frozen. There’s a misconception that frozen food lose their nutritional values.

Everything compared to fresh food has lesser nutritional value, but sometimes even less is enough!

Besides this, frozen food also remains safe indefinitely. You can freeze fresh fruits and make a nice cold juice with them later, for instance.

Good News: freezing food items also helps in increasing the expiry date.

You can also designate a week in which you write down everything you throw out on a regular basis. For instance: tossing half a loaf of bread each week?

Maybe it’s time to start freezing half that loaf the moment you buy it, so it doesn’t go stale before you’re able to eat it.

The best part is: this indirectly also helps you in saving money 😉

3. Take Stock

Note the upcoming expiry dates on foods you already have at home, and plan meals from the products that are nearest to their expiry dates.

On that note, also keep a list of what’s in the freezer and when each item was frozen. Place this on the freezer door for easy reference and use items before they pass their prime stage.

Designate one supper each week as a “use-it-up” meal.

Instead of cooking a new meal, look around in the cupboards and refrigerator for leftover items and other food that might otherwise be overlooked easily.

Food waste is indeed a very alarming and terrifying issue everyone is facing.

But, looking at the brighter side of things, it’s so easy to overcome. There are so many things you can do to help and it all starts from our own home and lifestyle.

So, let’s spread the word. Awareness is the key. This is our planet, and it’s everyone’s job to protect and preserve it before it’s too late.

Together we can fight for and achieve SDG 2: Zero Hunger!

Challenge yourself and dream big for a healthier lifestyle, and a healthier world 😊

Do you want to go deeper into the changes and get a hands-on for Zero Hunger?

Find your opportunity to Volunteer and impact sustainability at aiesec.in

If you like this post, you may also like When will the world wake up to freedom —from pollution?”


Written by

Anisha Bhawanani is graduated in Marketing and Finance and loves writing. She is a happy go lucky girl with a head full of dreams, very passionate about traveling and exploring different cultures. One day she wants to win a man booker prize.

6 Tips to Conquer Your Independence

“Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.”

– Walter Anderson

 

What does being independent mean?

Today, 15th August, marks the independence day of India. Our country is developing every day more, over the past decades, and people are trying to develop together.

But with all this talk about independence, one question arises: do you like feeling dependent on someone else?

Of course not. Not only are you limiting yourself, you are more than likely to become a burden to this person. You need to learn how to make decisions on your own.

The capability to be independent is something that not everyone possesses, and we need it in order to survive in the world.

Learning to support yourself is important for any success we ever hope to achieve.

It is extremely emancipating to know that you are in control of your own life and your own choices. It is much more beneficial to listen to the voice inside yourself rather than the berating opinions of others. Even in the small things.

For some reason, people think it is weird to go see a movie alone or sit in a cafe by itself. But at the end of the day you’re the person you have to live with anyway, so why not enjoy your own company?

woman paiting the wall

“All the wonders you seek are within yourself.” ~ Sir Thomas Browne

Somewhere down the line, other people’s perspectives go a long way in shaping your own values. But this is the moment when you need to look within and take control of who you are!

There’s a huge list of things you can do that can make you feel more confident about yourself and give you a sense of freedom.  

Wandering around the city can clear your mind of all the clutter it has been carrying around. Spending time talking to random people can help you widen your perspective.

So if you feel like it’s time to take control of your life, stay with me. Here are some valuable tips for you!

Here are 6 ways you can start designing your own independence

1. Do what you think it’s right

independence - men sayin he's completely confident

First of all, it’s important to realize that you have choices.

You make the decisions, you call the shots. Make the decision that you want and accept the fact that it may look a little different from the status quo.  That’s OK— no one wants to be the status quo anyway!

Your life is your own. You are 100% unique and blessed in your own way. You have the right to spend your life doing the things you love to do, and experiencing things that bring you enormous bliss.

You are blessed in a way no one else is—and no one else can do what you do quite like you do it! Take a play from the great Zig Ziglar: “You are the only person on earth who can use your ability.”

2. Cook your own food

muppets cooking

I don’t have time”. “It’s too expensive”.

“I don’t know how”. “It just convenient”.

These are some of the most common reasons why people don’t cook their own food.  So they must be true, right?

Wrong!

As difficult it may sound, cooking can be quite therapeutic and help you release all the stress. When you’re cooking, you are in absolute control of what’s happening and that in most ways is the most independent feeling one could experience.

It also requires the responsibility of choosing what to cook, thinking of what you like, and what’s healthy for you.

3.Develop your own career

Once you realize you’ve got choices, the next step is to spend a bit of time with yourself and figure out what you want those choices to look like. Try creating a blueprint that nails down just what you want your life to look like.

Maybe you have a love for music and travel, and you want to design a lifestyle that embodies those things.

Perhaps you love deep sea fishing, and you want to design a lifestyle around that. Sit down, do some good, hard soul searching, and figure out exactly what you really want your time on this earth to look like.

Babe Ruth once said, “It is hard to beat a person who never gives up.”

Don’t let things like lack of experience, fear or insecurity get on your way! You must realize where you are going and move towards that, despite anything. Nothing starts without a dream.

Write down your goals, and then imagine the satisfaction of fulfilling your dreams. Believe in yourself and the mountains will begin to move.

4. Earn your own money

money - geting financial independence

When it comes to personal independence, there is no satisfaction comparable to the ability to pay your own bills. Being able to afford your way through life reduces dependence on your parents, friends, spouse or whichever person you used to lean on.

Financial independence means that you control your income and spend drift and you are not answerable to anybody.

The more that you learn to become financially independent, the less stress you may have in your life as you are more in control of your financial outcome. So go ahead, take that job or that internship that you’ve been meaning to take since so long. Earn your own money and make your way through life independently.

As I just mentioned, all it takes is a bit of courage, a lot of determination and a first step.

5. Control your budget

independence - woman saying that she's on a budget

The most important money principle for everyone is to spend less than you earn. So knowing where your money goes is key to proper budgeting.

Track where you are spending your money, be it a spreadsheet, a journal or a notebook. Maybe use an app that helps you keep a track of your money. Apple store and Google Play are filled with them.

Sort your priorities and spend money accordingly. Get creative and make your own piggy banks in order of project of preference. Something that will work both as a reminder of things that you should focus on and also keep a track of your financial status.

6. Go on a solo trip!

independence - passaport stamped with landscapes behind

Being ‘on your own’ whilst travelling is a great test of yourself and helps you grow as a person. You won’t have people you can rely on, you’ll have to motivate yourself and make sure to make the most of your journey.

You will grow in heaps as a person and it is something that will help you gain so many life skills – from budgeting to communication skills.

If you don’t take control of a situation or adapt to the place you’re in, you won’t be able to truly enjoy.  If you don’t talk to people or do your own research on what to do and where to go, no one else will do it.

No one is going to be there holding your hand and doing everything for you. You’ve got your own back.

So if you haven’t gone on a solo trip yet, maybe you should start planning one! Especially if you already followed the last tips and you’re paying for it yourself!

You’ve earned the money, you’ve planned the trip, you’re living the dream… What more could you ask for?!

Living your life on your terms starts with living consciously and being true to yourself.

It may mean letting go of the things you have amassed and unlearning all that you have learned until now.

It may mean fighting a lone battle or even holding on to your belief in the face of reproach, disapproval, and discouragement. But it’s worth doing.

So go ahead and crush the fears, demolish the doubts, overpower the naysayers, and take that one leap of faith to be who you want to be.

No matter what your age, gender, culture, or boundaries.

At the end of the day, you only have yourself to fall back on, so it is exceedingly important to be able to handle things on your own. It is all about being secure with who you are and what you believe in.

Be your independent self!

 

What kinds of things do you do to come out as the independent person that you are or want to be? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

If you like this post and wants to take the first step to be more independent, you may also like: “5 Ways an Internship Abroad Can Transform Your Career”.


Written by

Studying bachelor’s in biotechnology, Aayushi is a really passionate person, who loves to read and travel. She believes people, places, and stories have the power to change anyone and help them understand the purpose of life.