We’ve teamed up with the food waste fighters at Imperfect Foods to share tips for living a more eco-friendly life. Start small with an affordable grocery service (hello, Imperfect Foods) that makes an impact through the food they deliver—like misshapen produce and surplus snacks that would otherwise go unused—then explore more possibilities for building a less wasteful world.

When you stop to think about food waste, pollution, global warming, and all of the other problems the earth is facing—let alone how to tackle them—it can feel, well, daunting to say the least. But something that brings me comfort is understanding how my own sustainable practices can make a difference. That’s not to say that I live a perfectly eco-friendly lifestyle, but over the years I’ve come to accept (and celebrate) when am I trying my best.

For me, that means incorporating super-simple, sustainable practices into my daily routine, especially in the kitchen—whether I’m cooking, working, or eating, the majority of my day is spent there. I can appreciate the fact that I keep trying to reduce my personal food waste (especially because it’s the best way to reduce green house gasses, too) and learning to do more, and over time that adds up. When I started to make small changes in the kitchen, I tackled what was obvious to me first: grocery shopping. There’s a lot of waste that happens at the grocery store, from those flimsy plastic produce bags that inevitably end up in the trash (now I keep these reusable cotton alternatives handy) to all of the misshapen produce that gets tossed for not looking perfect.

As it turns out, the best thing for my routine was to skip the supermarket altogether. That’s why I switched over to Imperfect Foods—a grocery delivery service on a mission to reduce food waste—about a year ago. I use the items in my weekly order to make almost every meal of the day, though on lazier occasions. I’ll order takeout and recycle or repurpose the containers (which are usually sturdy enough to reuse for future leftovers). Whenever I’m prepping, I always keep a bowl on the counter for saving odds and ends (broccoli stems, carrot tops, chicken bones, and the like) to make a yummy stock later on in the week. I did try countertop composting my excess food scraps a few years ago, but the amount of fruit flies it brought into my home was unbearable; luckily, my new apartment has a dedicated compost bin out front and I’m excited to give it a try.

Outside of making meals at home, I also realized I have a wasteful coffee habit—ok fine, obsession. Walking to my local coffee shop is a fun morning trip (and I still do it occasionally), but I started to realize the plastic cups and straws were adding up. I couldn’t crack the code on how to make the shop’s cold brew taste as good at home until I was placing my weekly order and noticed Imperfect Foods had so many at-home coffee options, including cold brew. I gave it a try and I am pleased to report I am my own barista now. Not only am I saving money, but I love sipping from a bendy, reusable straw (these are my fave) and my collection of cups.

For some reason, lunch is the hardest meal to make at home for myself and I generally feel pretty uninspired. To make things easier, I try to double up the portion-size of my dinners so that I can simply heat up the leftovers come lunchtime. I also add Imperfect Foods’ pre-mixed salads to my cart each week; all I need to do is throw in a few quick mix-ins (chopped veggies, nuts, cheese crumbles, you name it) and top it with olive oil and balsamic. Bonus: It’s saving greens that would otherwise get tossed and is equally as delicious as my go-to salad from the delivery spot around the corner.

Some days I feel great about my green-ish kitchen, like I am making a difference; other days, not so much. But I have learned that’s ok! It’s a work in progress that fits for my lifestyle and is actually making a difference—just take a peek at my impact report from Imperfect Foods: As a weekly customer for over a year, I have saved 466.7 pounds of food, 17,869 gallons of water , and 1,159 pounds of CO2e. All of this happens while I sit back and wait for my grocery order (pretty amazing right?).

Is there a green habit you’ve recently incorporated into your routine? Celebrate it in the comments below!

Our friends at Imperfect Foods make reducing food waste easier—and more impactful—than ever with their array of cosmetically quirky, farm-fresh produce and sustainable pantry staples. By using Imperfect Foods, a single shopper can help recover between 288 to 384 pounds of food, save over 9,000 gallons of water, and save 38 hours of grocery shopping time—and that’s just in one year. Find out all the ways Imperfect Foods is committed to a less wasteful world here.

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