You open up your fridge or pantry and, sure enough, there's mold growing on your food. Gross, right? Well, you might actually be able to get some use out of that expired food.
Ben Kreitner, waste minimization coordinator for Columbia's Office of Sustainability, says fruits and vegetables make up a large part of food waste in Columbia. "Food waste is the largest category of any type of material entering our landfill," Kreitner says. "It is definitely something that we need to improve upon."
During the pandemic, the amount of food waste from residential areas has increased as well.
"There has been more waste generated from [the] residential side compared to commercial," Kreitner says. "Of course, businesses have reduced hours or [some] are doing carry out instead of dine in. That means that waste that was generated from a lot of businesses are being pushed to residents.
By repurposing some of your expired foods with these four hacks, you will decrease city-wide food waste and maybe learn something along the way.
Avocado hair mask
Avocados are delicious, but when they go bad, they don't look appetizing anymore. Blogger Jill Nystul, who writes on One Good Thing by Jill Lee, came up with a beauty hack that will never let you waste another avocado. She suggests first smashing up the avocado and then applying the mashed mixture all over your wet or dry hair. After letting the avocado sit on your hair for an hour, you then should wash your hair thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner, ensuring you remove all of the avocado. This hack will leave your hair feeling super silky and extra moisturized.
Grow healthy plants with spoiled milk
On the blog Ten15AM, by MJ Esports and Entertainment, he/she says using expired milk can be extremely beneficial to plants. "According to experts, the rich calcium content in milk helps plants grow and prevents rotting, which commonly happens during humid season due to calcium deficiency," the author writes. Milk provides essential nutrients that helps plants grow. The blog suggests mixing one portion of milk and one portion of water in a spray bottle; then spray the mixture onto the leaves of plants. Let the concoction absorb for 30 minutes on the plant. Then wipe off the excess spray with a wet cloth, so it doesn't create a fungal reaction on the plant. Don't over use this hack on your plants though, or it could cause the leaves' color to fade. Vox recommends only using this hack once every few months.
Coffee ground face mask
Coffee grounds can go stale if you leave them out for long enough without properly containing them. On the blog Home Hacks, Ashley Brewer came up with an awesome hack to use stale coffee grounds. Mix the coffee grounds with a dash of milk or until you have a paste consistency. She recommends rubbing it all over your face, leaving it on for 20 minutes and then rinsing off completely with warm water.
Clean wood with expired mayo
Don't let your expired mayo freak you out. Instead, use it to clean wood surfaces. According to Evelyn on the blog @TheKrazyCouponLady, "The oil in mayo helps moisturize solid wood tabletops to restore moisture and even remove water stains." With this hack, your wooden surfaces will be cleaner than ever.