According to WRAP, our food and drink waste accounts for 20% of the UK’s CO2eq emissions. Millions of tonnes of food are wasted every year and by following a few simple steps, we can all save money and help the environment.
Store Food Correctly
The majority of food labels state whether your food should be kept in a cool dry place, in the fridge or elsewhere. Following this instruction can help to preserve your food for much longer. Fruit and vegetables are particularly susceptible for rotting if they aren’t kept in the right conditions. The American Heart Foundation has put together a list of where you should be storing this produce.
If you do find your veg going off before you get to eat it there are many recipes that you can follow to use up what’s left in the fridge. Bananas can be frozen once brown and soft and used to make ice cream or other sweet treats. In fact, most fruit and veg can be juiced or blended to make healthy and nutritious smoothies.
Another way to reduce food waste is to only buy as much food as you need. However if you’re buying items such as pasta, this isn’t always simple. Following the recommended portion sizes that appear on our packaging can drastically reduce the amount of food each household throws away. If you cook more than this amount it’s likely that it will end up going to waste.
Instead of throwing away the leftovers, why not intentionally cook an extra portion or two and freeze it? That way, none of your food goes to waste and you have a meal ready for a day when you have less time to cook!
Donate To Food Banks
If you have any cupboard food that you are unlikely to eat, they can be donated to a local food bank or supermarket that is collecting on their behalf. This saves perfectly good food going to waste, whilst also helping someone who is in need.
Keep Track of What You Throw Away
Lastly, keeping track of what you throw away is a good way to work out how much money you’ve wasted. If the environmental benefits of not wasting food don’t motivate you to throw less away, then seeing how much money you could save might. For every half-eaten plate of food or rotten carrot that ends up in the bin, keep a note of roughly how much this would have cost to buy. Over the course of a month, it will quickly add up!
By following the above steps you can save some money and produce less waste.