Waste not want not: simple tricks to reduce your food waste
This week is Food Waste Action Week, and although that might sound like quite an odd thing to raise awareness about, it’s actually really important! In the UK alone, 6.7 million tonnes of food are wasted every year, which adds up to an estimated cost of over £10 billion. Although the loss of money may seem dramatic, what is more upsetting is the fact that every ton of food waste that goes to landfill ends up creating almost five times that amount in greenhouse gases. Even more depressing is that while that food rots away in landfill and pollutes the environment, millions of people in the UK are going hungry. Those numbers all look pretty bleak, right? Luckily, there’s a lot of things you can do to help. Check out the tips below to see how you can reduce your waste impact!
1: Meal prep
The simplest way to waste less food is to buy less food. When your cupboards are starting to look bare, instead of heading to the shops and buying anything that takes your fancy, try to plan ahead. Think about what meals you want, and write a shopping list. Try to think of lots of meals that use similar ingredients. For example, if you’re making a chilli then you may as well also make a Bolognese that week to use up the rest of the mince and tomatoes. Having a list will help you avoid impulse buys, and therefore you’ll waste less. Plus, you’ll save an unexpected amount of cash. Simple!
Making a meal but don’t want to eat it all week? That’s what the freezer is for! Making batches of your favourite meals means you won’t end up with half cans of tomatoes or awkward bits of onion left in the fridge. Plus, you’ll always have a quick fix on hand for when you can’t be bothered to cook.
We’ve all been there: one minute you’re cooking with carrots and potatoes, the next minute you’re left staring at a mountain of peel. Most of us will just chuck it away, but to make sure you’re getting the most of your waste before it goes to landfill, try making some homemade vegetable stock from your leftovers. Just fry up the peel and top up the pan with water to simmer. You can also add any bones from chicken or meat that you may have eaten during the week. The broth you make can be used for stews, risottos, pasta and so much more. For extra brownie points, you can even freeze any leftover stock.
4: Leftover love
Got leftovers that aren’t enough for a meal? Keep them in the fridge or freezer for a light lunch or a side dish for your next meal. If you’ve got some lonely looking veg in the fridge that needs using up, try making a curry aka the magic leftover meal. You can put pretty much anything in a curry. If it’s fruit or greens you’re struggling to use up, try blending them into some healthy breakfast smoothies.
5: Sharing is caring
Finally, if you’re stuck, don’t forget to ask around the house. Chances are one of your housemates isn’t going to turn down a bit of free food you’ve got going spare. This works really well at the end of the term when you’ve got to clear out the fridge and freezer. Try making a fun night out of it, where you all club in your ingredients to make a group meal or turn the freezer into a giant potluck.
Hopefully these tips inspire you to make more of an effort to reduce your food waste! Please do share with your family and friends, and help raise awareness for Food Waste Action, not just this week but for the future as well! As always, feel free to share your own tips below.
P.S: If you’re looking for inspiration on creating literally no food waste then check out thisfrom a girl on Buzzfeed, who tried to go a month without wasting any food!