No Food Waste... make do and mend year 2018

Here we are in February now, and continuing our Make Do and Mend Year... And we're still working/journalling with this free workbook, A Make Do and Mend Year Sustainable Planner--for setting monthly goals for sustainable living--from My Make Do and Mend Life. Each month offers a topic of focus for living in more sustainable ways. 

The topic for February is FOOD ...NO Food Waste ...and I'm adding to this Water Conservation.

Food waste is an increasing global problem. Everything from improper food storage, lack of meal planning which generates too much food bought and spoiled, lack of food education, value of food and respect for the life cycle of food, bad infrastructure, and much more, all creates an incredible amount of food being wasted each year in countries of the developed world--especially in the United States and Europe. A third of the world's food is lost or wasted. That's a LOT! Hunger and poverty are real issues. And not just in developing countries. Many in those same countries with high levels of food waste in the developed world have people living in poverty and going hungry. 

Some sad and scary food waste statistics and charts found here, here, and here

Our No FOOD WASTE and WATER CONSERVATION Goals and Actions for February:

1. SUPER-FOCUSED meal planning, list-making, and shopping.

2. SHOP at HOME... shop our freezer and pantry cupboard first before going to the supermarket.  

3. TREATS at HOME... make all meals at home, making meals and treats at home, avoiding any extra stops at stores or impulse buys, no take-aways or convenience food, etc. 

4. USE IT UP... see leftovers and scraps as a creative meal-planning challenge. Scrap soup!

5. WATER CONSERVATION... be very mindful of water consumption and use of it, save some "grey" water for other use--water plants, etc.

6. FAST... in solidarity with whose who, sadly, may not have enough to eat or drink, and in offering of thanks to God for the food and water and other abundance we have. 

Do you have a special project or focus for this month, or for the year?  Do you have any tips or ideas to share?! 


  1. This was an eye opening post. I do know that we waste food. I looked at the links and I am alarmed. We have some bad habits on the way we handle our shopping , cooking and etc. We often buy salad needs and then end up eating out, change what we planned and or not fix what we have; therefore we waste some of our fresh produce.
    I really liked your list of things you are doing. I do want to change and be more aware so that we do more planning and follow through.
    Thanks for this one; I plan on using most of your plan to make some changes.
    You are so awesome! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one. You are an inspiration dearest Sister In Christ. Sending warm thoughts and hugs!

  2. How, sweet you are, LeAnn! Glad this gave you some inspiration. :) The statistics on food waste are shocking and heartbreaking at the same time. Even if we all made one small change in how we handle food, it would begin to help things!

  3. We DO waste lots of food in this country and I'm sad to say I sometimes do too -- buying things with good intentions and not getting around to making whatever that intention was. Or using it up fast enough before it goes south. Salad things are the worst; the greens get slimy. Milk, too, since I don't drink it but occasionally buy to cook. Your list is really thoughtful and I think being thoughtful about what you buy and use is the first step. What is gray water?

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Jeanie!Fresh food is the hardest, isn't it, in terms of waste. It's easy to over estimate what we need while shopping, or there's that week when plans change and the food gets neglected and we don't use it up fast enough... It becomes like a sacred practice, this food management! But to answer your question: Grey water is slightly used water from sinks, showers, washing machines, etc. It's basically wash water--used water that has no contact with toilet/fecal or food matter, which is called black water. It's water used for washing dishes, clothes or showering, etc. A good example is that you could use a bucket in your shower to catch some water while you shower and use that water for plants or gardening. The more natural and eco-friendly/plant-friendly a soap you use is best--no a lot of salts, boron or chlorine bleach, etc. The less ingredients a soap has, the better, and the better is will be for reusing the water. The think with grey water is that you have to use it up soon, within 24 hours, or else you can get some icky smells developing. Going more elaborate, there are grey water systems that you can install at home that go directly from house to garden irrigation system. What a great way to re-use grey water! I dream of this! A bucket though is cheaper... ;) So try saving some water for your plants and see how that goes. Or if you measured out too much water from the faucet for something--like while cooking, for instance-- don't pour it down the drain, pour into a bucket of other container and you can use that saved water for plants, garden... Here's a great article on grey water reuse:

  4. I was just listening to a report the other day that said much of the food thrown away due to ‘best before’ dates is perfectly edible. I only use these as a guideline and try to use up food rather than throw it away. I make vegetable stock from the bits that I store in the freezer - carrot peelings etc. I also meal plan and shop from a list, avoiding impulse buying. Like you, I try to make as much as possible from scratch and I don’t buy convenience food. Thinking of making some fairly major dietary changes in the coming months too. Good luck with make do and mend - it is a great challenge and one that I’m always striving to achieve. Marie x

    1. Thanks for sharing of your experience, Marie! There's been a lot in the news here too about best-before dates and encouraging people to use common sense and not automatically throw something away because it reached "the date." Stop-Sniff-Taste is our new motto! ;) Scarp Soup is great isn't it?! Although, I've found that man potato peelings make for a bit of a slugdy soup and very cloudy, so I don't use as much of that... but most else goes in. I have some leftover courgette to add to stock this time, and will see what that does to flavor, texture, etc. I'd be curious to hear about your dietary change you have coming up...Hope they well be changes for your improved health & well being! :)))

  5. Wonderful post Tracy! I don’t understand why new build homes don’t come with grey water reuse and solar panels as standard. It needs Governments to raise standards.

    We have been as guilty as everyone else in believing best before dates. We try not to buy too much fresh fruit and veg at once, knowing that if we run out before we can get to the shops, we have frozen mixed veg in the freezer as a safety net. A compost bin will take scraps if the worst happens.

    We have also found that shopping little and often for just what we need for a few days lets us walk around the corner rather than use the car. We are then less prone to impulse purchases due to weight and rucksack size. It is a very different way to shop but effective for minimising the heavy liquid items in plastic containers. We will be switching to bars of soap instead of liquid soap when the current ones run out. As you know the biggest change this year has been switching out our old Tupperware to Kilner food storage.

    1. GREAT changes you're making, Melanie! And here's to the Kilner revolution! ;) Oh, I so wish too, that there could be a change toward solar powder and grey water waster management in newer homes here too... well, in older homes like our as well... LOL! We need a new standard! We've been using bar soap, and it generates much less waste. And there are sooo many great, natural bar soaps out there. It's little things like that that can make a difference. We do tend to do a bigger food shop once a week still, but we plan well for it. There are times when we run out of milk, and we'll go for a walk and combine a stop for picking some up. It's great not to use the car so much either!

  6. I have been making a concerted effort to use everything. One thing that really bugs me is the short dating on items in the grocery shops. I think I am getting something which will last and then it goes manky before a few days are up. I guess we should be shopping for fresh every day rather than weekly. At least then it would get used as it should do! We also compost. Love and hugs to you sweet friend! xoxo


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