Did you know that Americans waste up to 40 percent of their food, with the average family of four racking up a total of $2,275 in food waste per year?

In honor of Earth Day, here are some easy ways to minimize your food trash:

1. Plan your meals.

Figure out what you're going to cook for the week, make a grocery list before shopping, and try to use up all of your ingredients.

2. Shop smarter at the salad bar.

Don't buy more than you need. If you need only a small amount of a certain vegetable and know you won't use the whole bag they try to force on you in the grocery store, hit up a salad bar and take only what you need.

3. Use or freeze your leftovers.

One of the best parts of roasting a chicken is that you get the base for several days' worth of meals, right? Take it a step further.

4. Use FoodKeeper.

The USDA released an app that shows users the best way to store their food so it lasts the longest, and it will tell you exactly how long you can keep it for. Plan accordingly.

5. Compost.

Not only does compost do wonders to fertilize your yard by providing nutrients that encourage plant growth, but it is also a good way to make use of your food scraps. Here's everything you need to know about composting.

6. Grow your own herbs.

Vegetable gardens are awesome, but what if you live in an apartment? Don't worry, you can grow herbs indoors with limited space. It sure beats paying a lot of money for mint at the supermarket and not even using it all. Here's how to get started.

7. Donate your leftovers.

The logistics depend on where you live, but the idea is pretty simple: If you aren't going to eat it anyway, why not help out someone who desperately needs dinner? Find a food donation program here.

Now that you have some tricks up your sleeve to reduce your food waste, why not make this delicious dessert in honor of Earth Day? Kids and adults alike will love these "dirt cups."

Recipe here.

Sources: Whole Foods, Food Safety News / Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr