With 40 percent of America’s food going to the trash each year, food waste has become a major factor in climate change, because most of it ends up in landfills and then releases methane, a major greenhouse gas. If you are looking for some creative ways to use the random leftover fruit sitting in your kitchen, try some of these recipes.

We all have the best intentions when we make trips to the grocery store, and the plan is never for the food to end up in the trash. But many of us still find ourselves trying to figure out what to do with food that is on the verge of spoiling, because life got in the way and you didn’t have a chance to eat it. This is especially true when it comes to fruit. You can make everything from healthy drinks to delicious pies with your leftover fruit, so there is no reason for it to end up in the trash ever again.

glasses of water infused with berries

Fruit-infused water

One of the best and easiest ways to use leftover fruit is to infuse water with it. You can use any kind of fruit you have sitting in the kitchen to create all kinds of flavor combinations.

frozen fruit pops with raspberry and kiwi

Pure fruit ice pops

You can use your spoiling or overripe fruit to make ice pops or fruit cubes with this recipe from Food Meanderings. The great thing about this idea is that you can use any type of fruit, then add some frozen berries and puree it all together before freezing.

Related: 8 of the best fruits and vegetables you can eat in their entirety

candied orange peels on a rack

Candied orange peels

Make your very own orange candy with this recipe for candied orange peels from Complete Recipes. All you need is sugar, water and a few oranges, and they take just an hour to make.

aerial view of purple smoothie near flowers and raspberries

Raspberry and pear smoothie

Don’t throw those ripe pears away! Instead, use them to make a smoothie with this recipe from Neil’s Healthy Meals. Mix some yogurt, frozen raspberries, cranberry juice and chopped pears together in a blender for this quick and healthy breakfast or snack.

jar of mango smoothie next to chopped mango

Mango orange banana sunrise smoothie

Do you have a mango, clementine and banana taking up space in your kitchen? Then try this smoothie recipe from Gimme Delicious. Just add some yogurt and honey to your fruit, and blend it for a couple of minutes to get a delicious breakfast.

strawberry salad dressing in glass bottle next to salad

Creamy strawberry salad dressing

All you need are five ingredients to make this delicious, creamy strawberry salad dressing from Montana Happy. Salad and strawberries are a match made in heaven, and a blender, some strawberries, raspberry vinegar, brown sugar, olive oil and lemon juice will help you make it happen.

glass bowl of mixed berries

Berry fruit salad

If you have a bunch of leftover berries, then try this recipe from Gimme Some Oven and make a delicious fruit salad. This berry fruit salad is quick and easy to make, and the honey, mint and lemon juice give it a nice, refreshing taste.

Related: The Seasonal Food Guide helps you store, cook and enjoy seasonal produce

small apple pie

Apple pie for one

Turn a lonely apple into a scrumptious dessert with this recipe from One Dish Kitchen. You don’t need to bake an entire pie to use up your leftover fruit, just try an apple pie for one.

peach and blackberry pie next to bowl of blackberries and peaches

Boozy peach-blackberry pie

Are you trying to figure out what do with your leftover peaches and blackberries? Obviously, pie is the answer with this recipe from My Modern Cookery.

glass jars of blueberry jam

Pressure cooker blueberry jam

Try making some homemade jam with leftover blueberries by using this recipe from Simply Happy Foodie. Not only does it taste better than store-bought jam, but it’s also cheaper.

glass jars of plum jam

Plum jam

Need to use up some plums before they go bad? Try making some plum jam with this recipe from A Baker’s House. You won’t usually find plum jam in stores, so making your own at home will be a sweet treat that you can add to vanilla ice cream or as a compliment to pork. Of course, it is also fantastic on a piece of bread.

cheesecake topped with berry sauce and fresh berries

Mixed-berry dessert sauce

Give your pound cake, cheesecake or ice cream a little kick with this mixed-berry dessert sauce recipe from The Spruce Eats. This is a great way to use up leftover raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.

loaf of banana bread on a wood board

Banana bread

One of the best ways to use up ripe bananas is to make banana bread. This recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch takes just a handful of ingredients and about an hour to bake.

Related: 12 delicious and crowd-pleasing vegan brunch ideas

apple cinnamon bread with icing on a wood board

Apple cinnamon bread

All you need is one apple for this recipe from The Happier Homemaker. Just peel and finely chop the apple before adding some cinnamon, sugar and a few other pantry staples. In about an hour, you will have delicious apple cinnamon bread.

slices of fruit bread on white background

Leftover fruit bread

This is a great recipe for ripe bananas and peaches, plus a few blueberries. It comes from The Food Network, and you can opt to bake an entire loaf or make muffins. Either way, it will be delicious.

Next time you are thinking about throwing out some leftover fruit, try one of these simple recipes instead and know that you are helping the environment by reducing your food waste.

Images via Shanna Trim, Silviarita (1, 2), Jodi Michelle, Ponce Photography, Imoflow, Nile, Sabine van Erp, Marke1996, Alan Levine, Marco Verch and Shutterstock