5 simple ways to reduce food waste outside the home

BY DBS, 16 NOV 2020

Here are some easy tips to incorporate into your daily routines for a more sustainable lifestyle

It’s safe to say most of us do not set out to waste food, but that bit of leftover rice or the vegetables we bought and forgot to cook – it all adds up and contributes to the overall food wasted in Singapore.

Did you know, food waste is one of the biggest waste streams in Singapore, and the amount of food waste generated has increased by about 20% over the last 10 years. In 2019, Singapore generated around 744,000 tonnes of food waste, which works out to two bowls of rice per person per day.

For a nation that imports 90% of our food supply, this impacts our food security in addition to wasting the resources needed to grow, transport and dispose of the food.

So what can we do? Reducing food waste goes beyond just trying to finish everything on the plate. (And no one wants to end a meal feeling overly stuffed!)

By putting into practice some of these tips below, you’ll find yourself easily wasting less and enjoying your meals guilt-free!

1. Create a grocery list and stick to it

Impulse buying is very real even at a supermarket – especially if you shop when you are hungry! Everything looks extra delicious when your tummy’s rumbling. Plus it’s easy to get caught up with the multiple deals at the supermarket, only to realise you’ve bought too many perishables to finish over the week.

Check your fridge before shopping. Make a list and buy only what you need. More tips here on how to make use of vegetable trimmings and extend the shelf life of spices.

2. Keep lunch boxes or takeaway containers out in plain sight at home

As the adage goes, “out of sight, out of mind”. By keeping your reusables out in plain sight at home – perhaps even somewhere near the main door – you’ll remember to take them along when you leave the house for your next lunch appointment.

3. Say “no” to side dishes you don’t eat

Or, if you’re on a low-carb diet, ask for less rice or noodles when ordering so you don’t end up leaving food behind on the plate. There’s something satisfying about seeing a clean plate after a meal!

4. Keep a food diary

Even if you’re not tracking your calories, it helps to keep a food diary of what you eat for a realistic picture of how much you can eat at each meal. That’ll hopefully dissuade you from ordering that extra dish at dinner. Ordering just the right amount of food is also good for the wallet!

Here’s how keeping a food journal for two weeks helped Ong Chun Yeow have a clearer picture of his daily diet and nutritional needs, and also helped him plan his meals to reduce food and packaging waste.

5. Check out DBS x CHOPE Last Hour Deals

(Update 7 Dec 2020: This promotion has ended. Hope you managed to get some good dining deals!)

Last but not least, here’s another wallet-friendly tip! If you’re going out for dinner or supper, check out the 60 participating eateries offering DBS x CHOPE Last Hour Deals. To reduce food waste, these outlets are offering up to 50% off your total bill if you dine in between 7pm to 10pm daily.

You get a satisfied stomach and they get to cook up their fresh produce, reducing wastage. Find out more here.

The DBS x Chope Last Hour deals are part of the National Environment Agency’s Say Yes to Waste Less campaign where DBS is the first bank to become a collaborating partner for the nation-wide movement. The partnership also aligns with DBS’ sustainability agenda and advocacy efforts to encourage the public and businesses to Live more, Waste less.

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