Food Waste Prevention

Did You Know?

  • 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.
  • On Oahu, 15% of residential garbage is food, which is about 425 pounds of food waste per household every year.
  • The retail value of preventable food waste from American homes is estimated at $124 to $166 billion a year.
  • 25% of U.S. freshwater and 4% of U.S. oil consumption goes to produce food that gets wasted.
  • Americans waste, on average, 1,400 calories per person every day, enough to feed more than the one billion hungry people worldwide.
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.

Resources

"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
Your Scraps Add Up: Reducing Food Waste Can Save Money and Resources -- Fact Sheet, Natural Resources Defense Council
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

Cloud-Freezer Features: Shopping list, expiration dates, food inventory, recipes for older food. Compatible with: Apple

Pepperplate Compatible with: Apple, Android

Still Tasty (also free web-based tool)
Features: Search shelf-life info, alerts when food will expire, shopping list
Compatible with: Apple

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