It’s the peak of harvest season, which means lots of vegetable washing, chopping, cooking, freezing and canning. That means lots of food scraps, water usage, stock making, recycling and composting. I am by nature a frugal person trying to squeeze as many uses out of an item as possible. During busy seasons, I am tempted to take a shortcut to save some time, buy I stay aware of the waste and make the extra effort to deal with it in my usual way.
While I was doing some research for a run-of-the-mill piece about reducing waste in the kitchen, I discovered some apps. So of course, there’s the old cliche answer to the question – Do you want to cut your waste in the kitchen? There’s an app for that. Here are ways to get help with food waste, composting and water conservation.
A third of all the food grown in the US is wasted. Restaurants and supermarkets are the biggest culprits, but we at home throw away our fair share. Not only does this create a demand for more food to be grown (and agriculture has one of the largest carbon footprints), but it’s hard on your grocery budget. If you’re going to throw food away, you may as well just put your money in the trash.
222 million tons is an app for home cooks with iPads. It gives you menus and shopping lists based on the number of people in the household. I can say from experience that making a menu for a week and shopping only for it is very cost effective. The app includes recipes, if you are a new cook or want to try something fresh.
Food waste is no stranger in the UK, either. There is a well-loved app for iPhone and Android called Love Food, Hate Waste. Learn to plan meals, shop accordingly, and enjoy leftovers with their recipes or your own. You can share your accomplishments with friends and family to stay motivated and and feel good about what you are doing.
While we are talking about food waste, let’s include composting. Even if you don’t have a garden, you can save your scraps for a composting friend, or maybe your town has a composting program. Find out!
This aptly named app, Compost, is a calculator for creating compost from the basic elements of carbon and nitrogen. If you want to do more than just put your scraps in a pile and let them rot, this app is for you.
The Organic Gardener’s Composting app has a lot of information about gardening, but composting is an integral part of organic gardening. The two go hand in hand. Maybe between these two apps, you can learn to compost and garden successfully! Compost reduces food waste!
Especially now during harvest season, I am using more water than usual. There is a lot of vegetable and fruit washing, chopping, processing, cooking and freezing. And I am doing a lot of dishes.
Drip Detective, an app you can use wherever you have plumbing fixtures in your home, shows your water usage whether you have a leaky faucet or running water. It estimates the volume of a drip or a stream. You can figure out how to cut back with that information.
The Water Use Calculator from the National Groundwater Association installs on iPhone and iPad. Learn where you use the most water and how to conserve it.
Get help – find an app!
There are many other apps to help out in the kitchen. Get help with recycling, bulk packaging and buying, paper use and so on. If you need to save resources and money anywhere in your life, there’s an app for that.