40 percent of food in the United States is wasted. Rather than being diverted to the 37 million individuals that struggle with hunger, 150,000 tons of food end up in landfills every day. In addition to food insecurity, food waste majorly contributes to climate change and is responsible for 6 percent of global greenhouse gases

It's mind-blowingly upsetting statistics like these that make me want to dive into a 30-day food waste challenge or be like those people who carry all their trash around in a single mason jar. The problem is I never know where to start.

Luckily, @farewellfoodwaste, which was created by my sister and food waste role model, Sophie DeBode, shares small and easy steps you can take to cut down on the amount of food you waste. The most amazing part? Reducing food waste sometimes leaves you with scrumptious baked goods, broths, and/or condiments that you would otherwise be purchasing down the line. Reducing food waste also cuts down on single-use plastic waste!

@farewellfoodwaste shares quick and easy food waste hacks to reducing the amount of food you toss. These tips will also save you a few bucks here and there. 

Hack #1: Vegetable scrap broth

Before you compost your veggie scraps, make a vegetable broth! Keep a plastic bag in the freezer to collect all your food scraps (things like onion peels, pieces of stem you don't want to eat, and even leaves) until you have enough to make into a scrumptious vegetable broth. Check out @farewellfoodwaste for step-by-step instructions.

Hack #2: Vegetable stalks and leaves are edible (and nutritious) 

Rather than throwing out broccoli stalks, cauliflower leaves, or even beet leaves, eat them! It's as easy as throwing them on the baking sheet and into the oven with the rest of your roasted vegetables. No extra cooking necessary, and you cut down on waste.

Hack #3: Slow down decay 

In addition to eating (totally edible) food scraps you may typically assume should be thrown away, a large part of reducing food waste is learning how to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh for longer. For example, keeping your potatoes in a cool, dark space and away from bananas, onions, and apples will keep them from going bad.

Hack#4: Carrot top pesto

Remember when I said you can roast and eat your vegetable stems? Well, it's the same ordeal with vegetable tops! I had no idea I was essentially throwing away delicious pesto by throwing away the tops from my veggies (carrot tops, beet tops, etc.). After blanching your veggie tops, just add the leafy greens to your favorite pesto recipe and voila, food-waste-pesto. 

Hack #5: Banana peel banana bread

Everyone and their mother has baked banana bread during quarantine, but I bet their banana bread did not have banana PEELS in it! Reduce waste and get those extra nutrients (banana peels are chock-full of nutrients) while you're at it. I tried this recipe and could not tell there was banana peel in my slice of banana bread! It was oh so gooey, too.

Overall, the most important part of cutting down on food waste is being conscious of your behaviors, and the items in your fridge. Hopefully, these hacks will help you recognize when you're producing unnecessary waste and open your eyes to little changes you can make to help the environment. 

These were just some of my favorite food waste hacks, but check out and follow @farewellfoodwaste for more. You'll do the environment a favor by doing so.