5 Great Tips to Reduce Your Household Waste
Food waste is a worldwide epidemic. According to food waste statistics, 18 million tons of food is wasted annually in the UK which equates to £23 BILLION. It's alarming that this is happening when millions of people are struggling to feed their families.
How often do you consider the water, energy and packaging it takes to manufacture the food you love? With the growing population, fresh water resources are diminishing and and will continue to be tested, with the world population expected to rise to more than 9 billion by 2050. Worldwide, 45 trillion gallons of water is wasted because of our thoughtlessness. If one person is using 153 litres of water per day, it is neglectful how many people could have benefited but for the waste. Not only that, binned food ends up at landfills where it decomposes and releases methane gas, contributing to global warming.
So, why do we waste so much food? Whilst this question doesn’t have one concrete answer, there are two main reasons why food is wasted: we have bought or prepared too much or we have forgotten to use it on time. It is also the case that when it comes to expiration and sell-by dates, we treat them as rules even though they identify food quality and not safety.
We have therefore prepared our top tips to reduce your household waste.
- Shop smart and don’t over-serve
Whilst this is obvious, you would be amazed how many of us forget this. Avoid shopping when you are hungry, plan your meals and make a list. Easier said than done, but it makes a world of difference. When at home, serve small portions and use smaller plates. Remember that eyes are often bigger than your belly.
- Embrace the power of leftovers
If you happen to make or buy too much food, don’t bin it but use it the next day or freeze it for some other time. Next time you are buying takeout, consider www.toogoodtogo.co.uk which aims to link people with delicious food that would otherwise be thrown away at prices from as little as £2. Less cooking, less waste.
- There is nothing better than giving
Before you throw away food you know you are not going to eat, consider food banks or charities and donate them to the people in need. Not only that, you can also give your food to farms or companies to feed livestock. Find out where to donate food by visiting www.fareshare.org.uk
- Green is the new black
Instead of binning scraps, you can make them into compost. Compost returns valuable nutrients to the soil and helps to maintain its quality and fertility. Composting also betters overall air quality and reduces greenhouse emissions. This all means that you can reduce landfill waste, save money and feed your garden.
- There’s an app for everything
There are various apps created to help people avoid food waste. Handpick helps you plan meals with ingredients you already have. Too Good to Go, which aims to save food, save money and save the planet by allowing you to buy food from your local restaurants that otherwise would be thrown away.
The amount of food waste produced globally each year is enough to feed nearly one billion hungry people in the world. If everyone of us starts to make small changes to alter our behaviour, we can save money, help each other and the planet. If we don’t, there will soon be no Planet Earth to sustain any of us and let’s be honest, none of us want that.
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Written by Laura Lohk for Grace & Green
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