There’s nothing worse than bringing home crisp fruits and veggies from the market only to have them spoil a few days later. With approximately 40 percent of the food cultivated in America going to waste every year, understanding how to extend the life of our food can save space in our landfills and keep us from taking extra trips to the grocery store.

Follow these tips and tricks to keep your produce fresh longer:

  1. Store unripe fruits such as apricots, peaches, mangoes, avocados, melons, and bananas on your kitchen counter. Move them to the fridge once they’ve ripened.

  2. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and limes can last up to a week in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, but they’ll last longer in the fridge in a perforated plastic bag.

  3. Store lettuce leaves in a bowl with a paper towel on top, then seal with plastic wrap. The towel absorbs moisture from the lettuce, which is what turns leaves soggy and brown. Replace the towel when it becomes damp.

  4. Puncture a whole lemon with a fork or skewer instead of cutting it in half. This way, you can squeeze out what you need without drying out the entire lemon.

  5. Don’t wash berries until you're ready to eat them. Moisture contributes to mold growth.

  6. Cut the tops off of pineapples and store them upside down. This helps the pineapple last longer by evenly distributing sugars that sink to the bottom during shipping.

  7. Squirt avocado or guacamole with lemon or lime juice. The citric acid will help prevent unsightly browning for at least a day. Avocado slices can also be stored with chunks of onion. The gasses that make your eyes burn when you chop an onion help prevent oxidation in your avocado.

  8. Some fruits and veggies produce a gas called ethylene, and other fruits and veggies are harmed by the gas. Store ethylene-producing foods away from ethylene-sensitive foods. Here is a list of foods to store separately.

  9. Store greens and herbs in tightly-sealed bags.

  10. Broccoli, lettuce, and carrots begin spoiling as soon as they're picked, so store these in separate plastic bags in your fridge crisper as soon as you bring them home. Moisture accelerates spoiling, so make sure they’re dry before storing.

  11. If you like to save time by washing your fruits and veggies all at once, place them in containers lined with paper towels to keep moisture at bay.

  12. Potatoes, onions, and tomatoes should be placed in a cool, dry place, but not in the fridge. Cold temperatures ruin the flavor of these foods.

  13. Apples produce ethylene gas that can keep your potatoes fresh for more than eight weeks, so you don’t have to worry about sprouts popping up on your spuds after just a few weeks.

  14. If you notice any produce beginning to spoil, throw it out or compost it before it causes the rest of the produce to spoil.