by Dotty Liao
Food waste contributes to 25% of the world’s greenhouse gases – not a meager amount. Getting more life out of our food waste can help to reduce your impulse to constantly buy more than what you need. There are ways you can eliminate buying certain items you use on the daily by creating your own out of food waste! Here are a few items to keep and what they can be used for!
When it comes to fruit peels, citrus fruits really take the top tier in terms of resourcefulness and versatility. Whether you’re working with lemons, limes or grapefruits, you owe it to yourself to keep the peels if you know what’s good for you.
Besides its antibacterial properties, high levels of vitamin C and naturally fragrant scent, lemon peels also contain natural phytic and citric acids that make it a valuable ingredient for beauty and skin care. It’s also a natural astringent that cuts through grease in your kitchen and other places in your home. This refreshing fruit is much more than its juicy insides.
Here are some ways to get the most out of your used lemon peels:
- Non-toxic all-purpose cleaner
- Natural insect repellent
- Stain removal on clothing and hard surfaces
- Degreaser/scouring agent on pots and pans
- Lemon zest to garnish and flavor dishes
- Candied lemon peels for teas and desserts
- Aromatic natural incense – just burn in a heatproof dish along with some wood chips!
What about other fruit peels? If you have houseplants or a garden, you can easily toss your peels in an airtight container or recycled jar, fill it with distilled water and refrigerate for a week or so. Then, use the water to hydrate your plants with nutrients from the peels! Bananas are great for this.
We’ve all boiled pasta and potatoes, or soaked rice and then tossed the water afterwards, but it might be worth your while to save the starchy, mineral-rich water for your self-care and beauty rituals.
Save the water used to rinse your rice or boil pasta and potatoes, and let cool. Once room temperature, use as an in-shower hair rinse after rinsing out your shampoo and right before conditioning your hair. You can add essential oils like lavender, rosemary or geranium for an added boost. Many swear that this has helped with their hair loss, or has contributed to their hair growth.
Starch water can also be used in your DIY masks that call for a liquid, or you can simply pour over your face after cleansing, let dry, then rinse off. You’ll have glowy, bright skin in no time if you do this 3x a week!
Coffee grounds can be used in a similar way to lemon peels, in that it is a great scouring agent for cleaning things like rust, baked on grease and more.
If you feel like treating yourself to more DIY beauty products, you can make your own coffee body scrub out of grown coffee by adding a few drops of essential oils and a carrier oil. You can also use coffee grounds as a face scrub!
Think the odds and ends of your used up veggie is trash? Try collecting all of your veggie scraps in an airtight container and freezing them. After a while, depending on how much you find yourself cooking veggies, you will have a bountiful bunch of scraps that will boil together nicely for a soothing veggie broth to use as a base for your soups.
Want to discover more sustainable living tips and learn more about going zero-waste? Download the GoodHuman app from the Apple App Store, and discover your own sustainable solutions from our largest curated collection of sustainable products.