Spare parts: they can be good for your health, your wallet and for the environment

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By Jane

Orange peel

Yes, you have read that right! It may sound odd, but the fact is that what are commonly defined as “inedible parts” could in fact be a gold mine for your health, your wallet, and the environment.

Wastage of food is a global problem and we waste 21% of food we buy, which amounts to 5.6 million tons of waste per year which is about 90 kg per capita in the Western world. We can reduce this by changing one of daily habits. We can stop throwing away the peels of fruits and vegetables and use them creatively.

For example, peels are a natural source of nutrition.The skin of fruit and vegetables contain an abundance of fiber, minerals and vitamins. So why throw them away? You can find a lot of recipes on the internet which are fun to make and that will tantalize your taste buds … Chips, soups, teas, the possibilities are endless!

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And if you culinary creativity runs dry you can use the peels in beauty care, for example you can treat dark circles around the eyes with potato peel, hydrating your skin with avocado peel or making a scrub by mixing banana peel with sugar.

You can also use the skin of lemons to make a household cleaner/degreaser which is 100% natural.

However, you should always be careful of pesticides and other chemicals that are present in the peels, especially if you are not eating organic produce, as chemicals used as fertilizer can remain in the peels. Do not forget to thoroughly clean the product to remove the remnants of pesticides and other chemical treatments.

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The benefits of recycling scraps, however, does not stop here. But rest assured this habit will save you money. A recent report states that wasting food costs in Europe amounts annually to almost 430 Euros per person. This is a considerable amount of money, especially in times of recession.

Finally, utilizing scraps from fruits and vegetable peels can help the environment. The impact of food waste is related to several environmental issues: exploitation of natural resources (water extraction, pressure on land), greenhouse gas emissions (due to production of food and collection and treatment of waste). If you have a garden, you can create your own compost with food scraps and use this as effective fertilizer. This is an economic and ecological solution.

So, to limit your waste, change your habits: recycle your scraps and peelings from fruits and vegetables. You can do the same with left over fruits and vegetables or rotten ones. This simple gesture will certainly help you save money and reduce negative impacts on the  environment.

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