Use Food Scraps:
- Have you ever thrown out food scraps, only to realize later that there were perfectly edible parts of it? If so, you’re not alone.
- Many people throw out food scraps without even realizing what could be done with them, or what the consequences of those scraps may be.
- Even if you’re not into composting or recycling, there are plenty of creative ways to use your food scraps without having to throw them out.
- All it takes is a little bit of creativity! That’s why we put together this handy list of eight creative ways to use food scraps—don’t throw them out!
Many of us are guilty of throwing food scraps into garbage disposals—even though it’s a drain on our resources.
If you’re in a city with municipal composting, it’s best to just toss your food scraps there and let someone else do all of the work.
If you don’t have access to that service, composting at home is easy, even if you live in an apartment and have no outdoor space.
A mini-composter takes up very little room, making it perfect for urban dwellers who don’t have yards or much storage space.
You can also purchase indoor compost bins made from recycled materials. You’ll need a few basic supplies (available online) and some patience, but once you get started, you’ll be able to turn scraps into fertilizer for your garden.
It’s one of those things that will make you feel good about being green—and saving money too!
2) DIY Slime
Slime is one of those cool things that kids love, but creating it can be a major hassle. Luckily, if you’ve got food scraps lying around, you can make your own natural slime at home with just water and a little bit of glue.
The next time you’re thinking about throwing away some scraps, try creating homemade slime instead—it’s fun for kids and adults alike and makes for a great sensory activity or gift idea.
Check out these 8 fun DIY recipes below* Tip: If your kid wants to add scent, go ahead and let them do so, but be sure not to use anything fragrant or overpowering like vanilla extract.
You don’t want your slime smelling up their room all day long because then they’ll never get rid of it.
Whether you’re a preschooler, teacher or parents looking for some weekend fun, playdough is a must. It’s inexpensive, requires no cooking and is just plain fun to create with.
The best part? If it hardens after sitting out in your hot car on a 90-degree day, just add a few drops of water and you’re good to go.
Make different colors by adding food coloring or simply substitute natural ingredients like ground spices for color.
Playdough can be used to make imprints of leaves, flowers and more when combined with paint brushes, making it a great sensory experience as well.
Add shaving cream if you want extra texture; kids love it! And did we mention that playdough has tons of educational value?
From counting scoops of flour to creating patterns, there are so many ways kids can learn through playing.
4) Fun Finger Foods For Kids
Kids often love food that they can hold in their hands, so why not use scraps of carrot and celery to make fun snacks? Put your scraps into paper cups and let kids decorate them with ketchup, peanut butter or yogurt.
You could also hollow out a mini pumpkin or small gourd and fill it with cheese shreds (the soft, orange kind), canned fruit or baby carrots for an adorable centerpiece for your next Halloween party.
Kids will go crazy for these finger foods! If you don’t have any baby pumpkins on hand, try making chicken drumstick tacos:
Simply wrap leftover chicken drumsticks in tin foil, stab holes in it, pour taco sauce over them and bake. Let cool slightly before serving with cilantro and lime wedges.
5) Homemade Dog Treats
This idea is especially handy for households with both pets and kids. While you should never let your children have access to dog food, scraps can be a great way for kids to help out their pet.
Pet stores sell chicken or beef bones specifically made for dogs, but any kind of bone will work. Just save any pork or beef bones from your own meals; if you don’t think it’s safe enough for you, don’t give it to your dog either.
Your dog will appreciate you taking time out of your day to do something so thoughtful—and help keep his teeth healthy in return.
6) Homemade Dog Biscuits
Save unused bones and meat scraps, mix with egg and flour, and form into treats for your dog. This will keep him busy as he tries to determine what his food actually is.
Whenever you’re at a BBQ, always offer up your dog’s raw bones—they love them. And if you make sure that your dog has plenty of toys around, he’ll never get bored during these extra hours. It’s good for him; after all, boredom can lead to overeating.
Add toothpaste (and only toothpaste) in with whatever food scraps you have left over from dinner—the minty flavor might even encourage your dog to eat something new like kale or broccoli instead of holding out for his usual food scraps.
7) Worm Farms
In many parts of Africa, chicken feed is made by collecting leftovers and grinding them into a paste. According to UNICEF, children typically make it themselves, which helps reduce some of their fear of rats, snakes and other disease-carrying creatures that might be in food waste.
If you’re throwing scraps away at home, then your leftovers can be fed to chickens—so long as you don’t mind sharing your table with a few feathered friends.One word of caution:
Do not give them cooked bones or avocado pits; these contain harmful bacteria that could sicken or kill your hens. (Check out these health tips for raising backyard chickens.
8) Chicken Feed
I can’t believe I’m going to suggest feeding kitchen scraps to chickens. It sounds like a joke, but it isn’t. In fact, I feed my chickens almost all of their food scraps every day.
Just about everything we throw away in our kitchen goes into their morning feast: egg shells, potato skins, onion and garlic trimmings, orange peels—you name it.
They eat meat from leftovers from dinner too. And they love it. If you have backyard chickens, they will thank you for your scraps by giving you fresh eggs (which are really more like liquid gold).
The best part is that if you have a compost pile or an outdoor garbage bin, you don’t even need to worry about what happens when your chickens finish off their meal.
Their waste is perfect for adding to your compost pile or turning into fertilizer for your garden. And if you don’t have any use for chicken manure?
Well then just toss those scraps right out with your trash (as long as there aren’t any bones or anything sharp).