5 Genius Ways To Repurpose Your Food Scraps, Save $$$, And Be Healthier

June 11, 2020

One of the biggest benefits of going zero waste is that it can save you loads of money. There are many things you can do to start your zero-waste journey which I have previously talked about here. While you can compost your food scraps, of course, there are other ways you can reuse and upcycle them before you get rid of them. From cleaner to candles, here are a few ideas to make great use of any peels you have left after cooking a delicious meal. Don’t throw your food scraps away!

Homemade vegetable stock

It’s always good to have some vegetable stock at home in case you want to make a quick, yummy soup. I used to always buy the powder until I realized I can just reuse the vegetable left-overs and scraps from my previous meals. All you have to do is collect all your food scraps and vegetable peels in a box or bag in the freezer until it is full. Once you have enough, boil the scraps in water and let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain it, and your homemade vegetable stock is ready! You can store it in the fridge for around 4 days or just freeze it to always have some at hand.

Orange candles

I love candles and I love oranges. Why not combine the two? Carefully slice around the “equator” of the orange. Peel your orange while keeping the shape intact, like a bowl. You’re going to want to keep the center pith as a natural “wick.” Fill the peel with olive oil, and now you have a natural candle. The smell reminds me of Christmas time at home. All I need now is a nice hot chocolate and some cinnamon cookies.

orange peels

All-purpose cleaner

Who needs a plastic bottle full of chemicals to clean? Just collect your orange or lemon peels, put them in a jar with white vinegar, seal it, let it sit for 2 weeks. Pour it into a spray bottle and there you have it. If you want you can add some essential oils for a different smell, but that is not necessary.

Orange peel snacks

Fact: You can eat the entire orange. There is no need to throw away the scraps—just make some yummy chocolate covered orange peels. Slice the peel, boil it twice for about 10 minutes each time. Add 1 cup of sugar and 2-3 cups of water to a pot and boil the peels for another 30 minutes. Let them dry, dip in chocolate, and enjoy!

Potato skins crisps

For this you can use either regular potato skins or sweet potato skins. Just add oil to a pan, turn to high heat and fry the skins for 2 minutes. Let dry and your crisps are ready. Couldn’t be any easier, could it? 😉 (We highly recommend you do this with organic potatoes—which is better for you, anyway!)

Potato scraps

I hope these zero-waste tips help you on your journey. There are many more great ideas out there that show you how to live a waste free life. If you are looking for more zero-waste cooking ideas you should definitely check out Max La Manna, an amazing vegan, zero-waste chef!

Wishing you all the best on your way to a more sustainable lifestyle!

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Photo: Pixabay

Rebecca Willems
A self-described queer vegan feminist, Rebecca is also trying to live a more zero-waste and minimalist life. During her undergraduate and graduate studies she put a lot of focus on sustainability, LGBTQ+ rights and gender issues across the globe. Having lived on 5 continents in many different cultures and being an avid traveler, she loves to learn about new cultures, learn languages, and try all the amazing vegan food across the world.


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