We show you simple ways to reuse kitchen waste.

You don’t need to be a green citizen — someone who actively recycles and makes sustainable lifestyle choices — to realise that the lifecycle of your vegetables and fruit shouldn’t just be from fridge to tummy to bin. There are so many ingenious ways to extend the life of your kitchen waste without really breaking a sweat.

If you’re already segregating waste, kudos to you. But, we bet there is still a lot of kitchen waste — read peels and shells — that’s going in the garbage can, no matter how hard you try to reuse and recycle.

Pssst!!! Here’s a little secret: you don’t even need to compost to get cracking on these seriously creative ways to reuse kitchen waste.

1. Banana peel polishWays to reuse kitchen waste_banana peels

Use your banana peels to polish the leaves of plants at home or rub them on your leather shoes to make them as good as new. You could also skip the harsh chemicals and polish your expensive silverware with banana peels to make them sparkle. Oh! And you could also use them as teeth whiteners.

Now that’s what we call a win-win situation. Did you know the humble banana peel could do this much?

2. Citrus scrubWays to reuse kitchen waste_orange peels

You should know by now that the goodness of an orange lies in its peel. Since time immemorial, people have been using ground orange peels for their skincare regimen. You could chew on an orange peel or two to alleviate bad breath or throw a few peels into your garbage disposer to de-stink it.

But my personal favourite is using lemon peels to infuse liquor. Lemon brandy anyone?

3. Pot scrubbersWays to reuse kitchen waste_pot scrubbers

All of us at some point in our lives have been too lazy to buy veggies from the mandi and have ordered groceries online or have bought imported fruit that are nicely packaged in presumably useless mesh bags. Well, those mesh bags are a boon for unruly oil stains and burns on your vessels.

Alternatively, you could use these mesh bags as an innovative gift wrapping solution. Do not throw them away!

4. Reuse those broccoli stemsWays to reuse kitchen waste_broccoli stems

Broccoli, undoubtedly, is one of the most antioxidant-rich vegetables that one could consume. But besides the numerous ways to savor broccoli florets, there are equally innumerable ways in which the stem could be utilised. Broccoli stalks have tons of nutritional value and you could make a nutrient-rich raw snack or soup out of it, among a host of other dishes.

5. Onion and garlic skin stockWays to reuse kitchen waste_onion and garlic skin

What’s a good dish without hints of onion and garlic?

Indian homes swear by these two ingredients, which in turn gives way to heaps of onion and garlic skins in the kitchen waste. Instead of throwing away the skin, use it to make delicious homemade soup stock, since the skin  holds more nutritional value.

6. Homemade breadcrumbsWays to reuse kitchen waste_bread crumbs

Still buying breadcrumbs from the nearby departmental store? We have good news for you. If your little one hates his/her bread with the sides, just chop them off and refrigerate it in a container. Grind it to make breadcrumbs when needed. This is a sure shot way to make crispy fried stuff!

7. Pineapple tops to grow a new oneWays to reuse kitchen waste_pineapple tops

This yummy tropical fruit is available round the year but its peak season is during the summer. We love the juicy and tangy taste of this delectable fruit. But did you know you could grow this in your own kitchen? Just save the top of your pineapple and plant it in your garden to grow your own pineapples.

8. Potato peels that healWays to reuse kitchen waste_potato skins

Save those potato peels the next time you make your favourite fries. These can be placed directly on sore eyes, burns, boils, and infections. Potato peels inhibit bacteria from infecting the wound further. You can also rub potato peels on your sunburns for relief.

9. Watermelon rinds fight acneWays to reuse kitchen waste_watermelon rind

After savoring pieces of fresh watermelon, do you throw away those leftover rinds? Think again. The rinds that you think are a part of your kitchen waste, could actually act as an excellent anti-acne mechanism. Store them in the fridge and rub them directly on your skin for instant freshness.

10. Butter wrappersWays to reuse kitchen waste_butter wrappers

Indians love their butter. Don’t we? As a result, we are left with quite a few butter wrappers that end up in our kitchen waste. Instead of trashing them, use them to grease baking trays. The wrapper tends to have quite a bit of butter still clinging to it after the butter sticks are unwrapped. Just store them in the fridge and use them when required.

11. Crushed egg and nut shellsWays to reuse kitchen waste_egg shells

Egg and nut shells like pistachios and peanuts can be used as a natural fertiliser since they add calcium and aerate the soil. They are also a great addition to your compost especially if you’re using a vermicompost since they help the worms in reproduction.

Got some food scraps that are destined for your trash or compost bin? Before you toss those out, take a look at these creative ways to reuse kitchen waste.