a woman holding a small potted plant

Regrowing parts of the veggies you would normally throw out is a good way to go green, here is a look at What Is Kitchen Scrap Gardening + How To Get Started?

So much has changed in our world and the big question remains will we ever get back to normal, and what will that ultimately end up looking like? I’ve had to change and make adjustments to my life (like all of us) especially where sustainability is concerned. I’ve posed the question “has the pandemic killed the zero waste movement?”.

Only time will tell! What I do know is being home has really given me the opportunity to rethink some of my habits and one of the areas I (and probably you) can do better is food waste. We waste a lot of food in Canada. $31 billion worth of food is wasted in Canada each year. This is approximately 40% of food produced yearly in Canada.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2007 Canadians wasted the equivalent of 183 kilograms of solid food per person. Putting practical tips in place to help reduce food waste is an important move to reduce your overall carbon footprint whilst saving you a ton of money (and food) in the long run.

Putting practical tips in place to help reduce food waste is an important move to reduce your overall carbon footprint whilst saving you a ton of money (and food) in the long run.

RELATED: 6 Practical Ways To Stop Food Waste + Save Money

If you are active on Instagram, you have probably seen “kitchen Scrap gardening” becoming a real trend.

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Did you know you can grow new spring onions from the roots? So many of you messaged me when I shared this to my stories saying you’ve never heard of this hack! 🌱 Spring onions are one the easiest food scraps to regrow. When you cut them, leave 5-6cm from the roots, pop them in a clear glass of water and leave it in a spot with lots of natural light. Change the water every 4-6 days so they don’t go slimy and in about 7-10 days you’ll start to see some growth. Snip off as you need and watch it grow all over again 😍 🌱This one is 9 days old and the one in the second slide is on day 2, you can see the little shoots already emerging. You can leave these indefinitely or plant them in the garden or a small pot. Save waste and money!💚 #greenlivingtips #foodwaste

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So what is Kitchen Scrap Gardening?

Kitchen scrap gardening is when you grow plants from items you’d normally throw in your compost bucket. Vegetable and fruit scraps like oranges, lemons, limes, sweet potatoes, avocados, carrots, beets, onions, celery and ginger work well (these are just some examples).

Do you need a green thumb?

No! and this is what makes this kind of growing so fun. It’s easy and you can get your kids involved too, it’s a great way to reinforce the sustainable living concepts of recycling and reusing. Plus, it’s a kick to grow new plants from old plant parts. How do you actually grow kitchen scraps?

You’ll probably get better results if you start with high-quality organic produce since some non-organic produce is actually treated to prevent sprouting. Also, keep in mind the climate you live in will determine if and when plants started from scraps can be transferred to an outdoor garden.

Lettuce and cabbage

All you need is a shallow dish and the leftover bottom portion where the leaves were attached. Place the lettuce or cabbage bottom in the dish and add water to about halfway up the greens. Place in a part of your home that gets sunlight every day.

You’ll need to add or replace the water every two or three days. It helps to mist the leave with water once a week. In about three days you’ll see roots growing and new leaves will appear. Now you can plant it in your garden, or leave it in the water and pick the leaves as need.

Green Onions

When cutting the green onions, save the bottom one inch of the bulb. Make sure you keep the tiny roots intact. Take the saved green onion bulb, and replant in the garden, or in a container. Make a small hole with your fingers or hand shovel – just deep enough to hold the bulb. Make sure to plant the root end down, and let about 1/4 – 1/2 of an inch stick out above the soil line.

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Some extra tips for regrowing scallions/spring onions I’ve learned over the year: – Keep in bright indirect sunlight – Change water every 1-2 days to prevent them from smelling – Rinse out roots with water if it does start to smell – Fill water to only cover the roots – try to not cover the white part – As the scallions/spring onions grow taller, change to taller jar to support length🌱🌤 #zerowaste #sustainableliving #lowimpactmovement #reuse #lowwaste #lesswaste #wastefree #zerowastelife #zerowastetips #ecofriendlyliving #lowwasteliving #zerowastehome #wastefreeplanet #goingzerowaste #zerowastelifestyle #zerowastejourney #growyourownfood #regrowveggies #zerowasteliving #growyourown #zerowastecollective #regrowing #lesswaste #zerowastefood #kitchenhack #growyourfood #foodscraps #kitchengarden Please do not repost without permission.

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In a little over two weeks, the green tops will be tall enough to snip off for another great meal. This can be continued three or four times, supplying you with green onions for a few months. The green onion bulbs can also be placed in a small glass of water and set in a window sill. The green tops will re-emerge and can be snipped off as needed. This is great for the summer or winter – you never have to buy green onions again!


Use a piece of garlic and plant it with the roots facing down in potting soil. Keep the pot in direct sunlight and in a warm place. Once new shoots appear, cut the shoots back and wait for the bulb (which is when it’s ready to use).


Keep a basil stem (~4 inches) and place it in a glass of water with the leaves above the waterline. Leave the glass in a bright area (but avoid direct sunlight). Once roots are a couple of inches in length, transplant in soil.

And, even Ginger 

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1. Choose a root that is firm with several #eyeBuds on it (those bulging bumps on ginger) The ginger can be cut and planted so each will grow into an individual plant. 2. Soak the ginger root in water for 24 hrs 3. Ginger is a great root to grow in containers! Perfect for #BalconyGardens & small spaces. Two gallon containers or larger are best💚 4. Place the ginger root with one of the eye buds pointing up ⬆️ 5. and cover it with TWO inches more of soil. Water lightly. *Add three pieces to each two gallon container. *if planting in garden space, plant 3-4 inches apart. Thanks @wholehealthdana for reminding me about spacing! 🙏🏻 6. Place the pot in a spot that stays warm and doesn’t get a lot of bright light. #ShadeGarden #PartialShade 7. Keep the soil moist but not drenched careful not to over-water. 8. *Note Ginger is slow to grow. Be patient. In about 2 1/2 – 3 weeks you’ll see some of the ginger leaves poking through the soil. They are really pretty when they reach full maturity!!💚 9. A few months after growth begins, small pieces of ginger can be harvested. Move the soil at the edges of the pot to find some ginger #rhizomes! The technical term for the #GingerRoot. Growing Organic ginger in nutrient-rich soil is the way to incorporate this great source of antioxidants in your diet. Follow the hashtag #NewOrganicGardenersSeries For More Tips And Info On Organic Gardening 💚

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I’ve included some of the more common foods people buy, but honestly, the sky is the limit, a simple Google search will give you so many options.

Have you ever regrown your own food?


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Candice Batista

Candice Batista is an award winning Environmental Journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco advocates. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media & communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show.
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