Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tips to help reduce trash produced in the kitchen

The kitchen may be the heart of the home but it's also the biggest trash generator in your house — especially this time of year. In fact, each person in your home creates about four pounds of trash a day and most of it comes from the kitchen. A few simple solutions will make all the difference when it comes to creating less waste. I'll show you how to do your part to trash less and save money at the same time.

Let's start with what you bring into the kitchen. Reusable bags are a must. Get yourself a bunch of different sizes and you're set for any shopping trip. But, you also need to think about waste as you shop. Anything packaged in single-sized servings flat out costs more so opt for buying in bulk when you can. You can make your own individual portions by using small, reusable containers. Also, buy items that come in easy to recycle packaging that you can toss into the recycling bin when you're done.

Now, the absolute biggest source of trash is food. It's astonishing to think that 30 percent of the food we buy, we throw away. The easiest thing to do is to save those leftovers. Keeping them for a snack or lunch, freezing larger portions, or using them in a different recipe is the way to go. Visit for specific information on how to waste less food and preserve foods throughout the year. Finally, don't forget that composting unwanted leftovers will create free fertilizer for your lawn and garden.

Then, there are the one-use items that get trashed. Save money by using reusable clothes and rags instead of pricey paper towels. Choose cloth napkins instead of paper ones. And, put an end to disposable plastic water bottles and invest in a few reusable ones. These days, there are even reusable silicon covers that are an excellent alternative to one-use plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, eco-expert and author of Do Your Part: A practical guide for everyday green living.

Tips to help reduce trash produced in the kitchen 12/18/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 1:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Warehouse burns on Tampa's east side


    TAMPA — Hillsborough County emergency crews are at the scene of a two-alarm fire at a warehouse near 56th Street and East Hillsborough Avenue.

    Hillsborough County firefighters battle a blaze Thursday night at a warehouse on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]
  2. 'Dream big' drives Lightning's Conacher brothers

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Two words: Dream big.

    Cory Conacher includes them every time he signs an autograph for a young hockey fan.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cory Conacher (89) on the ice during Lightning training camp in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17).
  3. Irma roughs up endangered snail kites, birds that help us gauge the Everglades' health


    Hurricane Irma was as rough on some wildlife as it was on the humans. Audubon of Florida reported Thursday that the storm destroyed all 44 nests around Lake Okeechobee built by the endangered Everglades snail kite, a bird considered crucial to the River of Grass ecosystem.

    Hurricane Irma destroyed 44 snail kite nests, capping off a poor mating season for the endangered species, which is seen as an important barometer of the health of the Florida Everglades. Their off-center beaks allow them to probe inside the spiral shells of the native apple snails. But the snails' population has dropped as the Everglades has changed. [MAC STONE | Audubon of Florida]
  4. New center opens in Tampa to help those with missing, damaged limbs


    TAMPA — Justin Lansford, his service dog Gabe by his side, smiled broadly Thursday as he imagined the future of a sprawling, resource center for people who need artificial limbs and those interested in helping them.

    Justin Lansford, 27, lost his left leg above the knee in Afghanistan. He was one of dozens of people attending the opening of the Veterans International Institute of Orthotics & Prosthetics in Tampa on Thursday. [HOWARD ALTMAN   |   Staff]
  5. Still worried about family, Tampa Bay Puerto Ricans ramp up relief effort


    TAMPA — Brenda Irizarry is worried.

    Brenda Irizarry of Tampa, while agonizing over the status of family in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, is helping lead an effort to collect and send supplies to the island. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times