Tossing food scraps in the trash is an incredible waste -- especially when you can reuse leftovers around the house.

Reusing food odds and ends would do a big favour for the planet, not to mention our wallets and our health, Ed Bruske of DC Urban Gardeners advises in the video above.

“Did you know that 25 per cent of everything we send to the landfill is kitchen scraps like this?" he says, while emptying out a compost bin.

Around 40 per cent of Canadian food is tossed out, valued at $27 billion, a George Morris Centre study reported. And when food rots in landfills, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, notes Environment Canada.

Saving your scraps from landfills can cut down on that methane production, so Bruske recommends composting any organic material around the house for your garden, and shows you how in the video above.

There's more than one way to reuse your refuse, though. Have you ever considered using egg shells to clean your kitchen drain, or bananas to shine your shoes? These solutions and many more can help you get extra use from your leftovers -- just don't forget to compost afterwards.


    Don't slip on your banana peel! Use it to shine your shoes instead. The inside of a banana peel contains potassium and oils that can protect your shoes, and doing so protects you from using toxic shoe polish, TLC says.


    Chocolate? Bubble bath? That's right, it's your lucky day. Combine 1/2 cup boiling milk, 1/2 cup melted 35 per cent cocoa (for a high concentration of antioxidants), and 1 cup bubble bath, said Diana of on The Doctors TV show.


    For a flavoured fruit cocktail, collect peels or rinds and stick them in a bottle of vodka (or another clear liquor) and let sit in a cool, dry place, suggests. Vodka with cucumber or fresh herbs for mojitos are also fresh ideas, the site notes. Photo credit: ambernambrose, Flickr


    Crush egg shells and put them in your kitchen sink strainer to help catch solids. They also clean your drain naturally as they break down, says.


    Scraps aren't the only kind of food refuse we trash -- what about the packaging? Cut a cereal box on the diagonal for a crafty magazine holder, or use egg cartons to store jewelry, Kimberly Danger, author of Instant Bargains, advises.


    Add dried orange peels to your fireplace flame.The peel's oil fuels the flames, and can even keep your chimney cleaner than using conventional kindling products, notes.


    Because it's rich in enzymes, and vitamins A and C, pumpkins make for great skin products, says. The Doctors TV show and Diana of shows you how: To create your own pumpkin facial, combine 2 tsp pumpkin, 1/2 tsp milk, 1/2 tsp honey, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon spice. Mix with your hands, apply it to your face, and leave on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing. Photo credit: DrBacchus, Flickr


    After brewing tea, apply the used tea bag to bug bites. The tea's tannic acid acts an an anti-inflammatory, says. Photo credit: Matsuyuki, Flickr

CORRECTION: A previous version of this text stated "Canadians toss out around 40 per cent of our food each year." In fact, the study states that 40 per cent of Canadian food is being thrown out.