5 Ways to Reuse Kitchen Scraps and Reduce Waste

Australia has a food waste problem.  However we as consumers can play a part in reducing food waste with simple steps such as choosing the ugly fruit and vege at the supermarket, and reducing waste from our own kitchens.

According to Oz Harvest

  • 8% of greenhouse gases heating the planet are caused by food waste.
  • Over 5 million tonnes of food ends up as landfill, enough to fill 9,000 Olympic sized swimming pools

It's time we start putting more value on our food and using every part of it - not just the yummy parts. Here are 5 different kitchen waste products that you can reuse instead of throwing out.

Ways to reuse coffee grinds

1. Coffee Grounds

If you're like me, you may have copious amounts of coffee grounds created every morning that end up going into the bin. Did you know you can give those brown gritty grinds another chance at life and have less waste going to landfill. There are so many uses for your used coffee grounds. 


Coffee grounds contain some very useful minerals and vitamins that help nourish soil which include nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and chromium (1). Just sprinkle some coffee grounds over your garden beds or turn a few hand fulls into your soil while preparing it for planting. 

Body Scrub

Make an easy all-natural body scrub that won't break the bank. Just mix your moist coffee grounds with olive oil, jojoba oil and vitamin e for a beautiful moisturising body scrub. Other ingredients include coconut oil or essential oils for fragrance but I think coffee is a pretty delicious smell on it's own.

All Natural Citrus Cleaner Recipe 

2. Citrus Peels

Dried Fruit

Orange peels make a great addition to a dry fruit mix or Christmas pudding. But if you prefer your cake sans-orange peel ,you may send your orange peels into the garbage bin- which may seem like a waste considering we pay for oranges by the kilo including the peels. 

Natural Cleaner

Add your orange or mandarine peels into a jar of white vinegar for a powerful and all natural kitchen cleaner completely chemical-free! We tried this recipe out and can say it is a very effective cleaner! 

We used 1x mandarine's peel, 1x wedge of used lemon, and white vinegar. Place the peels into a jar and cover all with vinegar keeping 2-3cm on top for fermenting. Ferment for 2-3 weeks. We fermented a little longer (I forgot about it, oops). Then strain the solution into a fresh container and you have some all natural cleaning solution! Dilute it into a spray bottle with water for the kitchen and bathroom, or use as a concentrate as a powerful floor cleaner.

Ways to reuse egg shells

3. Egg Shells

Feed your garden with all natural calcium. Crush the shells up or grind into a powder and sprinkle over your soil to seed your plants.

Egg shells make the perfect home for germinating seedlings. Just poke the tops of the egg shells when using your eggs, keeping the whole egg shell in tact with a small hole on the bottom for drainage. Add some potting soil to the little egg and add your seed in the soil. Then water and watch as your seedlings sprout. 

Ways to reuse avocado pits

4. Avocado Pits

Avocado is renowned for its great nourishing properties so it's no wonder avocado oil is a popular ingredient in shampoos. However commercial shampoos contain nasty chemicals which cause more damage than good. So instead of buying these chemical-laced shampoos, you can make your own with nourishing avocado pits shampoo.

Here is a quick recipe:

3 avocado pits - grated

6 cups of water

2 spoons of natural shampoo or castille soap

Add grated avo pits into a pot with the water and boil for 30 minutes. Strain into a bottle once cool and add the castille soap.

Fabric Dye

All natural fabric dye that won't hurt the planet or your wallet. The avocado pit isn't just a useless seed inside that beautiful green flesh, it also makes a really cool dye for fabrics. Avocado pits will make white natural fibre fabrics a beautiful pale dusty pink colour.

5. Cucumber Peels

Now this is one I had never heard of before - cucumbers deter pests! It turns out that those pesky insects around your home such as silverfish, moths and ants don't like that bitter cucumber peel. All you have to do is place those cucumber peel scraps around the home in troublesome pest areas and it will do all the work for you and deter those bugs. No more toxic poisons needed in your home. Just remember to replace the peels regularly to avoid attracting other pests that may enjoy cucumber.

That's 5 different waste scraps that can be turned into all natural solutions for your home. Less waste means less landfill and that means less CO2 emissions which = happy earth!

Do you have any other uses for popular food scraps? I'd love to hear what you reuse at home to minimise your food waste.

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