The United States leads the world in food waste and is the primary occupant of our landfillsAccording to the EPA, average American family of four will discard $1,600 worth of food each year. Even if composted, this extremely inefficient and a waste of valuable resources. Before tossing your food waste into the compost bin, here are a few things you may be able to use them for first!

Use the whole vegetable

In many cases, our food scraps shouldn’t be scraps at all. Take broccoli stems or carrot skin for example. These are often cut off and discarded unnecessarily. They’re not just edible, they’re nutritious parts of the vegetable too. Next time you’re prepping carrots, know that washing them is enough and when you chop your broccoli or cilantro, don’t leave the stems out of your meal!

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Collect veggie scraps to make broth

You can use the skins, tops or stems you normally would throw out to make delicious broth! All you need to do is collect and freeze them. Once your container fills up, make veggie stock. Here is a great video to show you how.

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Use coffee grounds for exfoliating

You can make a simple, natural body scrub by combining coffee grounds with sugar and oil. Use one part sugar (brown or white) to two parts coconut oil (or natural oil of your choice) and two parts coffee grounds. (Ratio 1:2:2)

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Make cantaloupe seeds into a cantaloupe tea latte

If you have a fresh cantaloupe (or melon of your choice), rather than scooping the seeds into the compost, use them in this recipe first! All you need is melon seeds, water, non-dairy milk and stevia (optional).

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Citrus peels have a variety of uses

Next time you need fresh lemon or lime juice don’t throw out the peels! Most citrus fruits have a variety of recipes to make out of their peels. A few examples to try at home include candied citrus, orange peel chutney, or this homemade citrus infused vodka. Don’t want to eat them? Try using them for a fragrant fire or mixed with vinegar for a natural all-purpose cleaner.

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