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Stop Food Waste Challenge

Take the Use It Up Challenge to make the most of the leftovers, pantry items, wilted produce, and last bits of ingredients you may have lingering in your kitchen!

By ensuring that we get the most of our food, we are not only saving money and resources, but we're also benefiting our planet. Reducing food waste is one of the leading solutions to climate change, and it's something that many of us are already doing every day.

To take the Use It Up Challenge:

  1. Do a quick kitchen inventory. Start the Challenge by taking a peek in your fridge, pantry, and freezer, to see if there are any foods that will ultimately end up in the compost. You might already have a food item in mind that you know you need to use up, but chances are you'll find something else that you forgot you had. *Write a list as you probably won't be able to use up everything you have at once and don't want to forget (again).

    • If you’re feeling inspired and haven’t gotten around to your Spring cleaning just yet, you can do a full assessment of what you have and what you’re potentially wasting by doing a Fridge Reality Check.

    • Consult Food Shift's blog post: Moving Beyond Expiration Dates, before throwing away any "expired" items you may have found. Chances are you'll still be able to use them!

  2. Get Inspired! Now that you know what needs to be used up, get creative! Can you make a whole meal out of things you already have? Maybe a different take on something you already do?

    • Browse our Stop Food Waste Tips and Blog to find recipes and fun ideas for ways to use up leftovers and other food items from local chefs and community members.

    • Get young people involved: Developed by the StopWaste Schools Team, the Leftovers Reimagined Bingo activity gives you ideas on how to make the most of your leftovers! Watch this San Leandro student's awesome video, turning dinner leftovers into delicious rice balls.

  3. Share your success! Whether it's a meal, dessert, or snack that you made with your found ingredients, you saved those items -and all of the energy and resources that went into them- from the compost! And hopefully enjoyed the process and end result ;-).

    • ​​Share your recipes, tricks, and tips with us and the greater community. Share your wisdom here! (You can do this anonymously if you wish.)


After taking the Use It Up Challenge:

  • Shop with meals in mind 
    Our meal planner shopping list helps you buy only what you need and save money too. 
  • Reach first for perishables 
    Download and print our “Eat This First” sign to designate an area in your fridge for foods that need to be eaten soon, before they are forgotten.
  • Keep fruits and veggies fresher longer
    Our storage guide makes perfect produce storage a snap. Tip: Post it on your fridge!


Thank you for sharing this challenge with your friends and family and working towards stopping food waste in your everyday life, one meal at a time!