Food Waste Prevention

Did You Know?

  • Wasted food represents 23% of global agricultural land.
  • 25% of U.S. freshwater and 4% of U.S. oil consumption goes to produce food that gets wasted.
  • Americans throw away approximately one quarter of all food and beverage purchases. This adds up to $1,350 to $2,275 lost per year per household.
  • Americans waste, on average, 1,400 calories per person every day, enough to feed more than the one billion hungry people worldwide.
  • The total food waste in Hawaii is estimated at over $1 billion per year, which, in 2010, was equivalent to 1.52 time the total production of agriculture in Hawaii.
  • Hawaii residents throw away approximately one quarter of all food and beverage purchases, which equates to a loss of about $700 per person per year.
  • On Oahu, 15% of residential garbage is food, which is about 425 pounds of food waste per household every year.
Take the Food Waste Challenge: Many of us don't realize how much food we throw away. Consider measuring your food waste for one week or even just one day. Use a bucket or bowl with a lid and instead of throwing your food scraps or spoiled food in the garbage, place them in the bin. Chances are, you'll be surprised at how much ends up in there. Keep the bin covered or even in the fridge to reduce risk of pests. Then, try any of the food waste prevention tips we have here and see if you can reduce how much food you throw away.

Learning how to reduce food waste can save you money and reduce your environmental footprint. Take a look at our cookbook, tools, links, and apps provided here for you.


"Food: Too Good To Waste" was developed as part of student Alex Lavers' master’s thesis project. Click to read her final thesis, which includes an analysis of a pilot program where participants applied the food waste prevention tips in the booklet and measured results.

The information on this page was compiled by the EPA and is intended as an educational resource for food waste prevention and for food recovery and processing options within the City and County of Honolulu.

Articles and Blogs

Leftovers: Tasty or Trash? -- Wall Street Journal
Take the mystery out of dairy shelf life -- The Oregonian
Wasted Food -- Blog from Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It)
Waste Not, Want Not -- Video, GOOD Magazine
How to Waste Less Food, and Save Money, to Boot! -- CBS News
Refrigerator & Freezer Storage Chart -- FDA
Where Food Goes in the Fridge -- Food Republic
Refrigerator Inventory: Five Steps to a Freshly Frugal Fridge -- SquawkFox

Mobile Apps and Web Tools

Note: Providing this information does not constitute endorsement of these businesses. Also, this information may not be all inclusive.

Cozi (also free web-based tool)
Features: shopping list, meal planner, recipe storage
Compatible with: Apple, Android, BlackBerry

FoodKeeper (free app)
Features: food and beverage storage timeline for your pantry, refrigerator and freezer
Compatible with: Apple, Android

MealBoard ($3.99 app)
Features: meal plan, grocery list, pantry, import recipes
Compatible with: Apple

NoWaste (free app)
Features: shopping list, expiration dates, food inventory, recipes for older food. Compatible with: Apple

Pepperplate (free app)
Features: menu, food calendar, shopping list, recipes.

StillTasty (free web-based tool)
Features: search shelf-life info, alerts when food will expire, shopping list

© 2005 City & County of Honolulu's Department of Environmental Services.