Cut food waste
Believe it or not, a third of all food goes to waste. It contributes hugely to our environmental footprint because so many resources go into growing, processing, packaging, storing, transporting, etc.
And when it goes into landfill instead of being composted, its impact continues... Although it's a natural material, buried under plastic and without oxygen it can't biodegrade naturally, and ends up releasing methane (a greenhouse gas that is 25x stronger than carbon!).
Nobody wastes food on purpose, and with food prices being so high, making the most of our food is something that’s already on our minds. But quite often we don’t even realise food we do throw away, and there are some easy things we can do avoid it and save money along the way.
These tips are part of something bigger. At Hubbub, we want to see a world where everyone makes choices that are good for the environment. Check out what we do and how your actions add up.
You might not even notice where more food could be saved till you actively look. Spend a week or so trying to notice what ingredients are most commonly thrown away, is it often leftovers, or things you never got round to using at all? If you know what's being thrown away and how, it's easier to change!
Always check your fridge and cupboards for what you've already got before you go food shopping. You might have forgotten tasty treats you already have, or you might spot ingredients that need to be finished, so you can plan your shop better to combine with those. Check labels too, so you know what needs to be used up first. Do you know what all the different food labels mean? Check out our tips to refresh your memory!
Meal planning is a great way to help reduce food waste, as you'll only buy the things you need and know what days you're eating them. Remember to save some empty days in your plan for eating out, or sorting out leftovers and random ingredients. Not done much planning before? No problem! Check out our tips for meal prepping like a pro.
Did you know you can freeze almost anything safely, and without reducing the quality or nutritional value? Getting friendly with your freezer to press pause on food you can’t use up in time, or meal prep and batch cook could save a chunk of cash! Check out some of these freezable ingredients that might surprise you.
Going on holiday? Cooked too much? This food can be shared with your neighbours, your local Community Fridge or check out Olio app to share food with your neighbours - it could be odd ingredients or full blown meals!
Throwing away different foods will have different environmental impacts based on how many resources it took to produce them and how far they traveled. For example, throwing away red meat has an impact about 28x greater than throwing away a potato! Trying to use up foods like meat, dairy and fish is really valuable. Other foods like bananas can't be grown in the UK so are always imported from far away, yet 1.4 million are thrown away every day in the UK!
Creating wider change
If your local council doesn’t collect food waste in a separate bin yet, you could write to your MP or local councillor to encourage them to do so. Could you encourage your neighbours/local people in your area to do the same to show the demand? Here’s a template you can use.
You can also ask food businesses to track their food loss and fill in WRAP’s measurement sheet, helping to track and act on UN goals for food waste.
Making waves in the workplace
If your workplace has a lunch hall, you could speak to the caterers or cooking staff to discuss what happens with leftover food. Perhaps you could arrange for leftovers to be sold at discount or given away at the end of the day to save them going to waste. Your team could order an ‘odd box’ of veg to share amongst you, saving loads from going to waste every month. You could also arrange for your team to try ‘To Good To Go’ together (an app that sells discounted restaurant food at the end of the day) e.g. once a week someone goes to pick them all up.
What happened when Hubbub tried it?
We run the world’s largest network of Community Fridges, with over 450 across the UK. They’re (you guessed it) fridges that are run by the community to redistribute surplus fresh food within communities, bringing people together to share skills, cook and cut food waste at the same time.
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