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Life Hacks with Leftovers: 4 Ways to Repurpose Food Waste

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• Repurposing food waste is easy: turn them into other food, beauty and cleaning products, and natural fertilisers!

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So, you always bring your own reusable grocery bag, shop for sustainably sourced ingredients and plan your meals diligently – you’re doing pretty well as an eco-conscious home chef. But what about that extra piece of parsley or that unused carrot top? Try these simple ways to give your kitchen scraps a new life and reduce food waste.

1. Make new food

Vegetable peels, trims, seeds, stalks and stems can all be versatile ingredients in their own right. Collect them all in a resealable bag, store in your freezer and use them to make veggie stock. Combine with water and seasoning and bring to a boil, then simmer. Strain the liquid and your broth is ready. For a tasty yet healthy snack, you can also roast potato peels and apple peels to make them into chips. Or if it’s a sweet and sour pickle that you want, just preserve watermelon rinds with vinegar and serve as a condiment on tacos or sandwiches.

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2. Use as DIY beauty products

Reducing food waste is not only good for the environment, but can also do wonders for your skin. Fruit rinds are packed with nutrients and are perfect for incorporating into your beauty routine. Just massage the inside skin of avocado peels on your face for an instant moisturiser, or rub banana peels on dry skin to hydrate it or to treat pimples and acne. Coffee grounds, with their antioxidant properties, are the go-to ingredient for beauty hacks. Apply cooled, leftover coffee grounds on your under-eye area, rinse off after 20 minutes and feel the difference in a few sessions.

3. Clean your house

Another simple and effective way to upcycle food waste is by creating all-natural cleaning products. Not only do they do a good job of removing stubborn stains and dirt, they also don’t contain the harsh chemicals found in store-bought solutions. Use expired milk to make your silverware shine; kill mildew or mould by spraying old vodka on it; convert red wine that’s gone bad into wine vinegar for cleaning surfaces. You can also make biodegradable eco-enzymes out of citrus or banana peels and use them as non-toxic multipurpose cleaning agents.

4. Feed your plants

The inherent nutrient content in leftovers makes them great fertilisers for your house plants. Mix veggie and fruit peels with dried leaves to make a nourishing compost, or mix grounded eggshells with soil for a natural source of calcium. Banana peels are rich in potassium and phosphorus that help build the vigour of plants, so chop and soak them in water, then spray this liquid on your house plant – it’s sure to thrive like never before.

Discover more ways to live a greener life at Taikoo Place, here.
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