Food waste is a growing household problem, with 13 billion tonnes of food waste being thrown away from UK homes each year. WRAP carried out a study that showed household food waste in the UK increased 4.4 per cent between 2012 and 2015, despite a target to cut household waste by 5 per cent by 2015. It is predicted that this has increased even more since this investigation was carried out. There is a huge emphasis at the moment on reducing this food waste, the government and many organisations are taking steps to encourage us to reduce our food waste, but often aren’t informing us on how we can do this!
Luckily Cromwell Polythene have the answers, we have set out 8 easy ways you can reduce your food waste, which will help save the planet and you money!
Make a Smoothie or a Soup
Left over fruit and veg is one of the largest forms of food waste in a home. Whether it is out of date and beginning to rot, or you simply have excess amounts, there are many alternatives ways to use up this food rather than simply disposing of it. A great way to use up your fruit and veg is to purchase a blender and make a smoothie or a homemade soup! It is the perfect way to use up that fruit or veg and make it into a new (healthy) product!
A lot of food is thrown away due to spontaneous or over purchasing, this leads to you buying items that you do not need. It easy to do, you go to the shop for 1 item and come out with a basket full. The easy way to stop this from happening is to plan your meals and create a shopping list. This is a great way to try and limit the number of unwanted or unneeded items purchased – sticking the the list will not only save you food waste but will also save you money.
A great way to preserve food and extend its shelf life is to freeze it down! Many of us purchase food in bulk and by the time we wish to use them they have gone out of date and need to be disposed of. A great way to prevent this is freeze any excess food – this can also be done when you have made extra when cooking, any left overs can be frozen down and saved for another day.
Give to your neighbours
We often have a big clear out when we are going on holiday or simply going away for a few days, any food that expires whilst we are away gets disposed of into the bin – even though it is still in perfect condition! Instead of throwing it away, why not give any unwanted food to a neighbour. milk, bread, meat or any other items you have in your fridge can be donated to someone else who will make use out of it rather than wasting it by throwing it away!
Take Home Leftovers
It is not just at home where food is often wasted, restaurants, pubs, cafes and other food establishments also have to deal with a lot of food waste. Instead of leaving your food when you have had enough and sending it to the bin, why not ask to take it home. You can then either refrigerate it and eat it for your supper or lunch the next day, or even freeze them down to have at a later date!
Check Expiry Dates
One of the main reasons we get rid of our food is because it has expired – many times we buy excessive amounts of food and do not get chance to consume them before they perish. This can be due to not checking the expiry dates before purchasing your items. This is why we always suggest you check the expiry dates before you purchase and also get the product with the best date on.
Grow Your Own
Growing your own fruit and veg is a great way to save on both food and packaging waste. You can just pick items as you need, the remaining crops will stay fresh in the soil for far longer than when picked. You can even go one step further and use your own compost by using a food caddy to dispose of your unwanted food waste, leftovers and peeling.
Buy Reduced Food
Most if not all supermarkets will have a reduced food section or even simply label up food that is nearing its best before date. The items are reduced in price to help clear them to reduce food waste. Although reduced in price they are still good enough to eat as long as they are consumed within a few days, or frozen down to enjoy at a later date.
Adapting just some of these methods could help you to reduce your food waste dramatically, these are small and effortless steps to help reduce the worlds food waste. Small steps like these, help the bigger picture of waste!