Date your fridge. A love letter to the food we've left behind.

A love letter to the food we’ve left behind.

A big portion of food waste happens in our homes. Part of the problem is we’re forgetting to use the food we buy — but we can change that. Setting a weekly reminder to check in on your fridge can combat forgetfulness. Spend a night in and rediscover the magic of the ingredients you ghosted.

Food waste has a massive impact on climate change
globally, it emits more than air travel.

1.8% or 1 gigaton of global CO2 comes from air travel in contrast with 2.5% or 1.5 gigaton of global CO2 coming from food waste.
Total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, 2019. Source: From IPCC Report, Chapter 5.3.1
No waste.

Ditch the apps and spend a night in with your fridge.

  • Food waste is a big problem with many causes.

    30% of all food is thrown away—over 900 million tons in 2019. Over half of that waste came from households, more than farmers, food processors, and grocery stores.

  • Your fridge is food’s last stop.

    The main reason is that we simply forget to check in with what we bought—especially perishables. So this is a friendly reminder to fix your relationship...

  • Try setting up a weekly date night.

    Set a reminder to check-in with your fridge. What's in it? You never know what crafty magic you might make.

  • @lahbco makes soup with the vegetables in his fridge that are wilting faster than my attention span 🍲.

  • @nowayjosecuisine saves pineapple skins to make refreshing tepache

Reducing food waste in our homes is a big opportunity.

17% of food is wasted after exiting the supply chain. Here's how it breaks down: 61% in households, 26% in food service, and 13% in retail.
Share of food that is wasted, after exiting the supply chain, 2019. Source: From IPCC Report, Chapter 5.3.1 of Mitigation of Climate Change, 2022

Editor's note: In considering how to reduce food waste, it's important not to forget the simultaneous issue of food insecurity that many in the U.S. and across the world face. Taking individual steps to reduce waste is important but should not replace systems-level thinking and action. We recommend taking an intersectional approach to consider how food systems can advance better environmental and social justice outcomes. Learn more about this approach here.

Kitchen Remixes

  • Store Better

    Learn how to properly store hundreds of different foods at Love Food Hate Waste and Save the Food.
  • Pantry Reorg

    After buying groceries, meal prep, or storing leftovers, properly organize items in your fridge, using labels to know what should be eaten and by when.
  • The Sell-by Dilemma

    People usually throw away food because they misunderstand the dates on packaging. The USDA has a helpful explanation of what those dates ACTUALLY mean.
  • Track Your Costs

    Watch how much food you throw away over one week. Check your grocery receipts, calculate what tossing food costs you—then multiply by 52.

Additional Reading

  • We’re thinking about food waste all wrong 

    "Americans need to collectively replace a preoccupation with 'food waste' — which does not sound edible, never mind delicious — with a passion for food use." Tamar Haspel, The Washington Post

  • Expiration Dates Are Meaningless

    "Expiration dates, part of a sprawling family of labels that includes the easily confused siblings 'best before,' 'sell by,' and 'best if used by,' have long muddled our conception of what is edible" Yasmin Tayag, The Atlantic

  • Cookbook: To the Last Bite 

    "Cutting back on food waste continues to be one of the most effective ways we can combat climate change. But when recipes only call for a small portion of an ingredient, what do we do with the remainder? Alexis deBoschnek has the answer." Read the book.

  • Cookbook: The Zero Waste Chef 

    "A sustainable lifestyle starts in the kitchen with these use-what-you-have, spend-less-money recipes and tips, from the friendly voice behind @ZeroWasteChef." Read the Book.

  • Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook

    "This handbook—packed with engaging checklists, simple recipes, practical strategies and educational infographics—is the ultimate tool for reducing food waste."  Read the Book by Dana Gunders.

Creative climate collaborations