The challenge to reduce food waste has never been more important. Food waste is an ever-growing problem for the planet. Any that ends up in landfill produces methane, which in turn affects climate change.
Add to that the fact that wasted food equals money wasted, and with everything costing so much more this year than before, it’s in everyone’s best interests to keep it to a minimum.
Thankfully, modern smart home trends and solutions can tackle food waste in more ways than one.
Use smart tech to help with your leftovers
Storing fresh food or leftovers in plastic reusable containers is a great way to reduce your food waste, but only if you remember to eat it.
Smartfreeze (opens in new tab) produces reusable plastic food containers with unique QR codes on the lids which link up to a companion app on your smartphone. You input the details of the contents on the app and turn on notifications of expiry dates, so you never forget about your leftovers again.
Keep an eye on dates with a fridge camera
Unless you’re strict about organising a fridge and using every single thing before you replenish the shelves, food can be easily forgotten on a shelf and the use-by date passes before you realise.
Or an easy mistake to make is to over-order, buying more of what you have already. That’s where smart fridge freezers come in handy – they have integrated internal cameras that help you see what’s left in the fridge from your smartphone.
Similarly, some models like the LG InstaView door-in-door fridge freezer (opens in new tab) features a special panel of darkened glass on the door that flicks to reveal a see-through window into the fridge when you knock twice on it. Again, so you can quickly see what’s on the shelves without losing the cold air inside by opening it, meaning food stays fresh for longer – and you don’t over-order by mistake.
Some models even keep track of use-by dates and warn you when they’re coming up, while some fridges even have special compartments that will freeze items if you’re cooking and storing food in bulk.
Don’t want to fork out on a smart fridge? Make your appliance smart with the Smarter FridgeCam (opens in new tab). Pop the dinky camera inside your fridge door and it takes a photo when you close it, sending it to your phone. The Smarter app has a best-before tracker so you can keep on top of use-by dates.
Tackle an overflowing compost bin
If you tend to cook from scratch a lot, you may find that your compost bin fills up quickly. The Sage (opens in new tab) FoodCycler will dry, grind and cool your food scraps, reducing them by as much as 80% into odourless waste in around four hours.
This reduces your waste footprint, as well as having the added bonus of eliminating pesky flies from your compost bin.
Is there any free tech that can help reduce food waste?
If you find yourself with a surplus of food – whether raw, cooked or dry – sign up to the Olio app (opens in new tab). The app is available on iOS and Android for free – you simply post a picture of the food item you want to donate and local Olio users will contact you if they want to take it off your hands.
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