Reduce Your Food Waste

Did you know that each year one third of global food production for human consumption never finds its way onto plates and is lost or wasted? A study conducted in 2014 concluded that $31 billion worth of food is wasted in Canada each year and approximately 47% of that food wasted occurs at home. The City of Chilliwack is encouraging our residents to reduce food waste by following the steps below.

At Home
1. Patrol your pantry. Assess what you already have in your fridge and cabinets, identifying which items should be eaten soonest. To keep your kitchen waste-free, make meals that incorporate these foods! For recipes and more tips, visit Love Food Hate Waste Canada.

2. Become Storage Savvy. Not sure the best way to store cooked beans or whether you can freeze dairy? Consult the A-Z Food Storage Tip Guide to learn how to keep food fresh longer.

While food holds a place in our hearts, it’s sometimes hard to know whether it also holds a place in the fridge or on the counter.

Inside the Fridge

  • Apples, berries, cherries, grapes, kiwi, lemons, and oranges.
  • Almost all vegetables and herbs
  • Keep cilantro fresh up to two weeks longer by placing stems in water and covering the greens in a plastic bag

After Ripening at Room Temperature

  • Melons, nectarines, apricots, peaches, plums, avocados, pears, tomatoes
  • Keep celery and lettuce crisp by cutting ends and storing upright in jar of water in fridge door

Outside the Fridge

  • Store in a cool place - Bananas, mangos, papayas, pineapples
  • Store in a cool, dark place -Potatoes, onions
  • Store at room temperature -Basil, winter squashes (once cut, store squashes in fridge)

More Storage Tips

  • Remember, your freezer is your friend! This storage chart shows how long different foods can be kept in a refrigerator or freezer.
  • Slow spoilage by storing fruits and vegetables in separate bins. Fruits can give off natural gases that hasten the spoilage of nearby produce, so store bananas, apples, and tomatoes by themselves.
  • Use storage bags and containers designed to extend produce life.
  • To prevent mold, wash berries just before eating.
  • If you prefer fruit at room temperature, take what you will eat for the day out of the fridge in the morning.

3. Get creative with your leftovers.

  • Make stock from vegetable trimmings or a chicken carcass.
  • Transform leftover bread into croutons or bread pudding.
  • Stir-fry leftover veggies, meat, and rice.
  • Chop and freeze aging fruit to save for yummy smoothies.

4. Understand food dates. Often ‘best before dates’ and ‘sell by’ dates do not accurately indicate food safety.

5. Nourish your community. Moving? Going on vacation? Certain you won’t eat that tomato soup in your cupboard? Share food with neighbours or donate to your local food bank.

6. Compost your food scraps and return nutrients back to the soil. If you are on the City's Curbside Collection program, place your food scraps in your Green Cart for weekly collection. Find out more about your options for composting in Chilliwack here.

Description Date File Size 
FAO Food Waste Infographic 2016-07-29 587KB