How to Reduce Food Waste

Preserved vegetables

Each year, about 7.3 million tonnes of food is wasted in Australia. When we throw out food, we’re also wasting other resources used to grow, transport and produce the food, such as water, energy and fuel.

Reducing the amount of food we throw away has many environmental benefits, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It can also save us money.

Tips to reduce food waste

  • Plan meals and make a shopping list, so you only buy what you need
  • Check your cupboard and fridge - use food and ingredients you have before buying more
  • Use airtight containers to keep food fresh
  • Take leftovers for lunch, or freeze them for another meal
  • Set your fridge temperature to 3-4°C and -18°C for your freezer

Storing fruit and vegetables

How we store fruit and vegetables can affect how long they last. As fruit and vegetables ripen, they release a natural ripening gas called ethylene. Each fruit and vegetable produces a different amount of ethylene, and also reacts differently to the gas. Depending on the rate and volume of ethylene, fruits and vegetables may ripen faster or slower.

Learn more about how to store fruit and vegetables:

Guide for storing fresh produce

How to store fruit and vegetables

Best ways to store fruit and vegetables in the fridge

Regrowing root vegetables

There are a number of vegetables you can regrow, again and again, such as spring onions, celery, bok choy, carrot tops.

Find out more:

How to regrow from kitchen scraps

10 ways to regrow food in water

How to grow fruit and vegetables from table scraps

Reducing Food Waste - tips from residents

If you need some inspiration on how you can reduce food waste, read these tips and tricks from Monash residents. 

Risa from Mount Waverley:

  • Grow your own vegetables and herbs to enjoy fresh and pick on demand
  • Keep leftover rice in the fridge or freezer and use for fried rice
  • To revitalise old strawberries, soak in water with dash of lemon juice for 10 minutes

Leanne from Ashwood:

  • Make our own breadcrumbs: dry stale bread in the oven and put it through a mincer
  • Eat leftovers for packed lunches, or if you have enough, make another meal

Dominique from Mount Waverley:

  • Make your own healthy “ice-cream": Freeze very ripe bananas. Combine with chopped frozen strawberries in a food processor until well mixed and of a soft-serve consistency.

Sandra from Mount Waverley: 

  • Make an all-purpose cleaner from orange peels: Put orange skins in a container and cover with raw apple cider vinegar. Leave them in a dark spot for 4 to 6 weeks. At the end of standing time, drain the liquid into a clean jar and store it in the fridge. To use, pour about a 1/4 cup into a spray bottle and top up with water.