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Next to the dryer, the refrigerator is one of the easiest places in your home to lose things. Have you ever opened your fridge and found yogurt you misplaced a month ago? Or bought ketchup because you forgot you already had some? Yep, it was tucked behind those leftovers you meant to take to work for lunch last week.
These little lapses add up to big costs, both environmental and financial. One-third of all food—over 1.43 billion tons worldwide each year—is wasted, representing up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions and about a quarter of all deforestation and human water use.
Preventing food waste is one of the most effective ways to shrink your environmental footprint. Here are some things you can do:
Move it front and center—Keep leftovers and prepped produce in clear containers in the front of your fridge so you don’t forget about them.
Eat these first—Designate a bin or shelf for food that needs to be eaten within a week.
Shop your fridge—Cook or eat what you have at home before buying more.
Don’t fear the freezer—First, consider buying frozen foods. They last longer and taste just as good. And be sure to throw meat, seafood, and bread into the freezer (instead of the trash) when you can’t consume them by their expiration dates. They’ll keep just fine in there.