Hold onto your orange peel and coffee grounds: Italian design studio Tour de Fork wants to make your trash bag smaller and your house smell better.
Last week, as part of our Food for Thinkers week, Jonathan Bloom alerted us to the shocking fact that 40 percent of the food we grow is simply thrown away, uneaten. While there are several places along the food chain where major savings can and should be made, researchers estimate that the average American household of four throws away about a quarter of the food it brings into the house, at a cost of something like $1,350 per family, each year.
Better planning and some creativity with leftovers will help cut the amount of edible food we discard, and we could certainly do better than the measly 2.5 percent of household food waste and scraps that currently makes it into the compost bin. But for those of you who want to get crafty with your food waste, check out Second Chance, a set of prototype household gadgets designed to reuse coffee grounds, apple peels, and orange rinds.
The orange peel hanger, coffee odor dissipator, and apple peel grower form the debut collection of the Milan-based Tour de Fork food design studio. On their blog, designer Stefano Citi explains that the heat of the radiator releases the aromatic oils from orange, lemon, and mandarin, scenting your home while drying the peel for use in sweets or marmalade.
Meanwhile, according to Design Sponge, Tour de Fork's coffee odor dissipator provides a convenient hanging container that you can fill with coffee grounds in order to take advantage of their smell neutralizing capacities in your refrigerator or elsewhere. Their apple peel grower is perhaps the most intriguing: "the apple skins rest on the top of a lid with holes that allow the apple's natural oxidation to create a 'balanced mini biosystem' in which the starter of wild yeasts and Lactobacillus bacteria needed to bake sourdough bread can thrive.
While these three gadgets will hardly make a dent in the scary statistics Bloom shared, it seems that making food waste visible, attractive, and useful around the house could encourage a larger-scale revaluation of the resources embodied in our collective discards.