Putting Food Waste to Fun Use!
Nearly 1.3 billion tons of food waste are generated every year according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization. As daunting as that number sounds, we can start instilling a conservation mindset in our kids at an early age by teaching them about food waste… small steps.
Here are just a few activities your child can engage in while putting food waste and food packaging to good use!
Reuse Food Packaging
The containers your food comes in are a treasure trove for arts and crafts lovers. Help your child learn about repurposing by looking at empty food packages and asking questions like, “What do you think this can be used for?”. Here are two ways you can start.
From Milk to Pencil Cup
- Wash out empty milk cartons, cut off the top and leave them to dry.
- Once dry, you can cover the carton with paper, either glue it or staple it.
- Paint or color the paper and voila! You’ve got a pencil cup!
Egg Carton Paint Palette
Your plastic egg carton is not what it seems! It can be transformed in many ways into something functional and useable. One of these ways is a paint palette.
- Wash the empty egg carton and leave it to dry.
- If it has a cover, cut off the cover and cover the sharp edges with tape.
- You can use it as a palette for acrylic paint, emptying each color in an egg holder.
- Once your child is done painting, wash it out and reuse it tomorrow!
Organic waste releases methane gas, which if not buried in the soil, can add to the greenhouse gas effect. If you have a yard, it’s a great opportunity to show kids how fruit and vegetable waste can be put to good use. Composting is one of the most undemanding and eco-friendly ways to recycle your food waste.
- Dedicate a bin in the corner of your yard or balcony for composting.
- Place your waste materials the bin in a dry, shady spot.
- When the waste materials are collected, moisten them regularly in the bin with a bit of water.
- The mixture is decomposed and ready when it becomes dark and crumbly, it is good to go in the soil of your planting project!
What can you use in composting?
Greens – Grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, weeds, and coffee grounds and filters
Food Leftovers – Eggshells, tea bags, and nut shells
Browns – Dead leaves, wood chips, twigs, and fireplace ash
Recyclable Packaging Material – Shredded newspaper, cardboard, and paper.
Other ways to reduce food waste:
- When squeeze orange halves to make juice, you can clean out the orange peels and use them as cups for jelly!
- Donate food scraps to nearby animal farms.