How to Do An Eye-Opening Freezer Inventory
Conducting a freezer inventory is one way to get really honest with yourself about your habits. Food is often wrapped in plastic packaging, especially if you live in a place where fresh food and farmers’ markets are sparse. However, a little dig through your freezer can reveal exactly how you’re doing and if you can do anything better.
Why do a freezer inventory?
There are two main reasons to check up on your freezer inventory: to learn about your plastic purchasing habits and to take stock of what food you need to eat.
Too often, we let food go to waste before eating it. About 32% of all food in the UK and 30% of all food in the US ends up in the trash rather than in someone’s stomach. Once that trash finds its way to the landfill, it creates methane which is a greenhouse gas. (There’s a simple solution to this – composting! More on that here.)
Conducting your own freezer inventory also provides a learning opportunity. Find out how much of your food comes in plastic packaging – how much of that is inevitable, and how much could be replaced? Next time you need to re-purchase an item, consider if there are any plastic free swaps you can make instead!
How to do a freezer inventory
Ready for the challenge? Here’s a quick step-by-step guide.
- Before you start, grab a pen and paper or the notes app of your phone. This is where you’ll list out what you have.
- Begin pulling items out of your freezer, one by one. As you do, add them to your inventory list. Add an asterisk next to items wrapped in plastic. If there’s anything overly freezer burnt or ancient that you need to throw away, mark it with a plus sign.
- Once the freezer is empty, reload it with the items you are keeping. Try organizing them by type to help you use things up more efficiently. You can also try putting any older items that need to be eaten first up front, to remind yourself later.
- When everything is safely back in the freezer, review your list. How much of the food was wrapped in plastic? Does it match your expectations? Take stock of items that you could replace with plastic free alternatives.
- Take note of how much you threw away – how could you prevent that next time?
- As you go on about your life, feel free to keep your inventory updated! This will help you avoid future food waste.
Having the resources to even consider if your fridge is plastic free is a privilege, and it’s no easy feat. If you are able to consider plastic free swaps, you can try storing food in
glass mason jars (just make sure to leave some extra room for expansion.)
Soups and liquids can easily freeze in ice cube tray.
Stasher bags are also great for smaller items.
Are you up for the challenge? Leave a comment below and let me know how it goes!
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