5 Ways To Reduce Food Waste
We are all guilty of throwing away uneaten leftovers at some point and thinking it's not a big deal. However, a recent study by the World Resources Institute (WRI) states that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted each year. Additionally, they state that food waste is responsible for 8% of annual greenhouse gas emissions and a landmass the size of China produces food that goes uneaten. If these figures continue to rise, it could have a devastating impact on the environment.
At Regen Waste, we strongly believe that everyone should cut back on food waste in order to minimise any negative impact on the environment. Reducing food waste will minimise the resources and energy needed to produce food, from farming to packaging and shipping. Food waste is also one of the biggest emitters of methane gas, meaning that as it rots in landfill, it pollutes the local environment. So, reducing the amount of uneaten food will ultimately reduce carbon emissions. Here are 5 ways you can reduce food waste:
1. Plan Ahead
Before you head out for your weekly shop, create a meal plan for the week. Think about what you are going to cook each day and how you are going to use the leftovers. Once you have planned your meals, make a shopping list and most importantly, stick to it!
2. Shop Smart
Shopping smart may sound simple, but it is an important way to reduce food waste. When you go food shopping, avoid overbuying as this can result in throwing food away. This might mean going shopping more often and buying less each time. It may also be useful to take a photo of your fridge and cupboards to remind you of what you already have.
3. Check Use-By Dates Before You Buy
When purchasing fresh food products, be sure to check the use-by dates to make you have enough time to use it and avoid any waste. If a product is labelled 'best before', you should use your common sense to decide when it can no longer be eaten. Best before dates are a guideline and is about quality, not safety; the food will be safe to eat but may not be at its best.
4. Freeze Your Leftovers
When you cook a big meal, make sure to save the leftovers and eat them at a later date. You should label your leftovers so you can keep track of how long they've been in your fridge or freezer. You can then incorporate these into your daily or weekly meal plans, saving yourself time and money. Read more top tips for freezing your food safely here.
5. Start Composting
Finally, if you are still finding it difficult to reduce your food waste, why not start a compost pile? Composting is extremely beneficial for the environment as it reduces the amount of food waste you will throw away. It also reduces the need for pesticides/fertilisers and can produce micro-organisms that can break down some pollutants into less toxic chemicals. Find out how to start your own compost pile or read more about the benefits of composting.