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August 1 - August 31, 2022
Stephanie McDonald's avatar

Stephanie McDonald

Waste Reduction & Recycling and friends

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 887 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
    38
    pounds
    food waste prevented
  • up to
    80
    pounds of CO2
    have been saved
  • up to
    2.0
    conversations
    with people

Stephanie's Actions

Storage

Properly Store Leafy Greens

I will roll unwashed lettuce in a dry towel, then store it in a sealed bag in the refrigerator. I will properly store 4 leafy greens.

Completed
One-Time Action

Storage

Properly Store Apples

I will properly store apples by keeping them on the counter for up to 7 days and then moving them to the refrigerator.I will keep them away from bananas and avocados, since those speed ripening. I will properly store 3 apples.

Completed
One-Time Action

Shopping

Stick to Your Grocery List

I will only purchase the items on my grocery list and avoid impulse purchases.

COMPLETED 8
DAILY ACTIONS

Planning

Keep a Food Inventory

I will take a fridge and pantry inventory to stay up to date with what I have at home before I go grocery shopping.

COMPLETED 17
DAILY ACTIONS

Planning

Track My Wasted Food

I will track the food that my household of 1 throws out so I can learn what we're wasting and why.

COMPLETED 24
DAILY ACTIONS

Community

Send it Down the Grape Vine

I will talk to 2 family members or friends about my experience with this challenge, food waste, and what I have learned.

Completed
One-Time Action

Storage

Be Smart About Food Labels

I will learn about food labels and not throw food out just based on the date on the package, but instead check the smell and color to see if it has gone bad.

Completed
One-Time Action

Storage

Learn About Food Storage

I will learn about food storage and store food based on best practices to keep it from spoiling before it is used.

COMPLETED 15
DAILY ACTIONS

Storage

Properly Store Berries

To keep berries fresh, place them on top of a paper towel in a sealed container to absorb excess moisture and reduce chances of molding. I will properly store 2 packs of berries.

Completed
One-Time Action

Shopping

Eat Before Shopping

I will resist impulse buys by eating a snack or meal before going grocery shopping.Those who grocery shop on an empty stomach spend 64% more than not-hungry shoppers.

COMPLETED 7
DAILY ACTIONS

Feed


  • Stephanie McDonald's avatar
    Stephanie McDonald 8/31/2022 11:12 PM
    This continues to be an eye opener. My refrigerator is rearranged so I can do first in/first out. I have new storage containers so I can see what I have. I'm not taking so much to organics recycling. I shop twice a week instead of once which makes it easier to get things closer to when I need them. 
  • Reflection Question
    Storage Be Smart About Food Labels
    Did you know that not all food labeling means the same thing? How have you changed your habits to decide if food is still safe to eat?

    Stephanie McDonald's avatar
    Stephanie McDonald 8/28/2022 1:03 PM
    I posted a cheat sheet on the inside of the cupboard door for different kinds of foods/labels verbiage. But in general I don't keep a lot of food around and the items with a shorter shelf life are at the front and I use first in/first out methodology. 
  • Reflection Question
    Community Send it Down the Grape Vine
    Describe the conversations you had and if you learned anything about what other people think of the topic of food waste.

    Stephanie McDonald's avatar
    Stephanie McDonald 8/28/2022 12:54 PM
    Similar to the plastic waste conversations, some folks think it's OK because they've been convinced by advertising that when we're done with something we just throw it away and it just disappears. "Someone" takes care of it and the general consumer doesn't have to worry. They don't know who "someone" is, exactly, nor do they know what that job description does, or how they "take care of it", just that the consumer has other things to worry about.  Also, bulk bins are scary now because of COVID-19, not that they personally would wear a mask or gloves or pay attention to a sneeze guard.  Some are worried about the amount of food that's wasted but that's how the stores package it and they don't want to hurt the managers' feelings by asking for something different. Taking waste to the organics recycling is too hard, takes too much time, is too far, too much bother, the center isn't open on Monday. Many have been programmed that only perfect food is safe to eat, all apples and cucumbers are shiny (stores can stop shining them in my world view, anyway), and in fact at the checkout they will tell you if there's a bruise or the cauliflower has a brown spot, etc. and call produce to get you a perfect whatever, so even store employees are programmed for this. A couple only wanted perfect food because using a paring knife on it took too much prep time (?) Grocers say they are doing what the people want, but I think the people want what they've been programmed to expect.  Interesting that one person won't eat an apple a bird has pecked because it's not clean, but refuses to wear a mask during COVID. On the other hand, some folks wanted links to the resources for storage or more education.  People who grow they own tomatoes or other garden veggies or have their own apple trees aren't so afraid of bruises and peck holes, but get rather grossed out at the shined up produce in the supermarkets because someone has had their hands all over the item.
  • Reflection Question
    Storage Learn About Food Storage
    Did you find that you were storing food incorrectly? Which items have you changed?

    Stephanie McDonald's avatar
    Stephanie McDonald 8/28/2022 11:41 AM
    Cooking greens, apples, cucumbers, leafy greens.  I spent some money and bought different containers for some of them.  There are some differences of opinion on how to store some items, so I'm doing a little experimenting to see what works for me.
  • Reflection Question
    Shopping Eat Before Shopping
    What can you do to make sure you never shop hungry?

    Stephanie McDonald's avatar
    Stephanie McDonald 8/28/2022 11:33 AM
    Grocery shopping requires planning, which includes timing.
  • Reflection Question
    Shopping Stick to Your Grocery List
    What are some of the things you typically buy that you weren't on your list? How do you think you might limit some of those purchases?

    Stephanie McDonald's avatar
    Stephanie McDonald 8/28/2022 11:27 AM
    For me, the biggest "problem" is when the store gets a special shipment or there's a new item I'd like to try. Somewhere along the line I got it into my head that I should get 2 of the new or special shipment fruits or veggies. Generally this means something else will go to waste, so I have to decide if I'm going to alter my list for the week (delete something or buy fewer) or decide if I can freeze the item or just plain not buy the 2nd item.  Bottom line, I can't just throw things mindlessly into the cart because it's on my list and still buy something special. Shopping requires some thought.
  • Reflection Question
    Planning Track My Wasted Food
    What did you find you are tossing the most? How can you change your habits to avoid wasting this food?

    Stephanie McDonald's avatar
    Stephanie McDonald 8/28/2022 11:12 AM
    Since not everything comes in bulk, but the store decides in what unit I can purchase, I end up freezing some items  (spinich, kale, melon/cubed, cauliflower, berries).  This is a better alternative than buying something that the store has cut up for convenience because then I have plastic waste. Other items I go to the store more often (generally twice a week) so I'm buying when I need it. This works because I'm close to a grocery store, And I can sometimes combine trips, like stopping at the store on my way home from the gym. This might not work for folks who do not have a car. If I had to take a bus 1} the bus doesn't go there from here and 2) being in the burbs, the bus only runs at rush hour and one run around noon.  Hennepin county might care to think about that. 
  • Reflection Question
    Planning Keep a Food Inventory
    Are there food items you have been better about using up and not wasting since you started keeping an inventory of what's in your fridge?

    Stephanie McDonald's avatar
    Stephanie McDonald 8/28/2022 10:48 AM
    I find that I wasted a lot of cucumbers, kale, and spinich. Partly it's because I needed better, more visible storage options. Partly it's because I was buying "for the week", I might not need it until the end of the week, and however it was packaged in the store I had too many, some of which went south before I got to them. I'm close to a grocery store, so I can go twice a week so I'm buying closer to when I really need the item. Not sure how that would work for everybody else. Not all people are able to do that. Depending on the item, I know I'll have too much because of store packaging, so I freeze some. The little {mini} cucumbers are likely to go south because the store packaged them, I can't freeze them, so I buy a big regular cuke and figured out how to best store the thing, even partly used,  A family might be OK, but singles I think, will have a hard time. Stores package for their convenience, not mine.