To say that food waste is a serious issue is probably an understatement. According to Toronto Food Policy Council, $31 billion worth of food is wasted in Canada each year. It’s not only your own money that you’re throwing into the trash, but also the accumulative effort and cost of energy, labour, infrastructure, transport, etc., which altogether exceed an overall cost of $100 billion every year.
And this is why it’s absolutely essential to put every bit of food scrap to good use, even if you’re not going to eat it! There are countless creative ways for you put leftover scraps to good use. You already know how to make a candle out of an orange peel within minutes. Here are five more great ways for you to reuse food scraps without having to eat them.
Repurpose food scraps for lifestyle purposes!
1. Put eggshells in your garden.
It’s almost second nature to crack an egg and throw the shell into the trash, but eggshells are actually great fertilisers for your garden and benefit the soil. Eggshells add calcium into the soil, which is particularly beneficial if you’re growing tomatoes or peppers. And the jagged and sharp edges can also help deter any slugs that might come chopping down your hard work. If you’re able to crack the egg just from the top and retain most of its shell as a whole, you can also use them as little plant potters to sprout seeds! Just remember to wash it out.
2. Use cucumber peels to deter pests.
Did you know that insects like ants, silverfish, moths, mites, and wasps have an aversion to cucumber? Place cucumber peels where these insects like to roam in your house, or infuse a handful of cucumber peels into a spray bottle of water and spray the same areas. The more bitter the cucumber peel, the better!
3. Make carrot oil with leftover peels.
Carrot oils are super beneficial for your hair. They can help heal damaged hair, strengthen hair, and stimulate hair growth. And they’re super simple to make! Save up about ten carrots worth of peels in the freezer. Put the carrot peels in a pot or slow cooker and cover it with an oil of your choice (coconut oil is also great for your hair). On the lowest heat setting, infuse the carrot and oil together for at least 24 hours. Strain the carrot peels, and store the oil in a jar for six months!
4. Exfoliate with coffee grounds.
Fine coffee grounds are the perfect size to exfoliate your skin. All you have to do is mix it with coconut or olive oil to make the perfect scrub. The caffeine in coffee grounds helps combat cellulite by tightening the skin with increased blood flow and nourishing the skin with antioxidants. And it smells amazing! But it might be a good idea to do this over a towel where you can catch the falling grounds as they may clog the drains.
5. Use onion skin as a colour dye.
Did you know that all that pigment in onion skins can be made into colour dyes? Take as many red or yellow onion skins as you can find and place them in a pot. Cover it up with water, bring to a boil, and let it simmer for an hour. Next, remove the onion skins, then soak the fabric you want to dye in hot water before submerging them in your dye bath. Leave the pot on simmer for another hour, then let the fabric cool down with the pot. Yellow onion skins can dye your fabric from shades of light yellow to deeper, golden tones. And red onions provide darker, earthier shades of brown. The longer you leave them in, the more concentrated the colours will be!
Have you tried any of these methods of repurposing food scraps? Tell us how you like to get creative by not letting your food scraps go to waste!