Can you cut your food waste with these tips?
The amount of food waste that is sent to landfill each year is growing, despite all the education around using less and cutting down on the amount of food bought and wasted that has to be thrown away. This issue is very serious, as it’s estimated that the amount of greenhouse gas food waste is contributing to each year is around 19m tonnes. The obvious solution to this problem is to have every household attempt to cut down on their food waste – can you cut your food waste with these tips?
Buy with expiration dates in mind
When you go shopping for groceries, check the expiration dates of food you buy and plan ahead how you’ll use it before it starts to spoil. If you can’t find the fresh fruit or veg with a good ‘use by’ date, swap it for an alternative that does, or buy smaller quantities of loose fruit and veg that you know you can use straight away.
Know what you need to buy in advance of shopping by prepping your meals out for the week ahead. One cut of meat could make two or three different dinners or lunches, and also takes the stress out of thinking about what to have for dinner at the end of a long day. Dinners that you can make and reheat the next day for lunch are also a great way to reduce your food waste.
Freeze and keep
Throwing out half a loaf of bread every week? Dumping a lot of unused herbs when they start to go a bit limp? Time to make your freezer work for you. You can freeze bread and defrost and use it as you need to which will reduce your waste to zero, and there are lots of herbs you can freeze which means you can keep them for longer without resorting to tossing them in the bin.
Learn to preserve
Preserved fruits, pickled vegetables, jams and chutneys – all delicious and a great way to use up food that you would normally throw away. It’s also a great way to enjoy fruit and veg out of season. Find great preserving recipes here and start planning how to use up leftovers.
Add to your compost heap
Throwing away inedible scraps of food might seem like the only obvious choice, but did you consider adding it to your compost heap instead? You can’t add meat or dairy products, but you can add egg shells, coffee granules, tea bags and vegetable peelings to benefit your garden and the environment at the same time.
Take home leftovers at restaurants
Eating out is a treat, but when you have a huge plate of food and can’t finish it, it can make you feel guilty sending it back to the kitchen to be thrown away. Why not ask for a box to take home your leftovers instead? You can reheat the next day and enjoy it all over again, and feel better about not contributing to more food waste.