Americans generate food waste like nobody’s business. The USDA estimates that in 2010, we didn’t eat nearly a third of the 430 billion pounds of food produced in the United States. That’s 1,249 calories—a fifth of which came from produce—in the trash per person.
Luckily, many are taking action. Next month Massachusetts will start enforcing a rule to ban large-scale food wasters—about 1,700 hospitals, hotels, supermarkets, and other institutions—from sending their food scraps to landfills. They’ll have to donate or repurpose usable food instead. The rest will be shipped to composting plants, animal-feed manufacturers, or facilities that convert organic waste to green energy.
Want to be part of the solution? There are a few obvious ways to cut down on food waste: Buy only what you’ll eat, give less-than-perfect fruits and veggies a chance, and get creative with leftovers. Or, you can save a few trips to the grocery store by following our step-by-step guide to regrowing five kitchen ingredients. Some are as easy as putting stumps in a jar of water; others will get your hands a little dirty and will take some patience—but they’re all worth a try. Just remember that if all else fails, there’s always the compost bin.