Here are five super simple ways to cut down on food waste and decrease your environmental footprint.
• Plan your portions
Simply planning your portions is the easiest way to reduce food waste. If you think about what you’re cooking, and how much you’re likely to eat beforehand then you’re far less likely to go overboard and end up throwing half of what you make away. Our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs but be realistic with portions, and try to avoid food waste from the very start.
• Freeze leftovers
If you end up with leftovers then don’t throw food away unnecessarily, most things can normally be frozen (in fact, some foods can even benefit from being cooked a second time.) Save food, but also save yourself time by freezing food and having a ready- made meal set to go for another day.
• Re- use ingredients
If you only use half a pepper, or end up with a random slice of bread leftover, then don’t get rid of this food. Most things can be preserved, but even if it does have a short shelf life then find creative ways to re-use ingredients the next day. It’s so easy to find recipes and new ideas online now that you’ll also end up cooking a lot more creatively if you’re making the most of every scrap of food you buy.
• Food recycling bin
It never ceases to amaze me how many people forget that you can recycle organic waste. I watch them dutifully sorting plastic from cardboard, and then casually throwing a loaf they let go mouldy away, or chucking a tea bag in the main bin. Any food you really can’t re-use in some way should go in the food recycling bin. You can buy little ones to go in your kitchen and then throw it in the main organic waste bin outside. (If you’re reading this outside of the UK I can’t speak for your recycling system but if you don’t have provision to recycle your food then start a petition and put pressure on those who can make it happen. There’s absolutely no justification for not recycling food these days. At worst- use it for compost in the garden.)
• Give (tins) to charity
Any food you end up not wanting or needing that has a long shelf life can be given to charity. Whether you were given something as a present that you know you’re never going to use, or you’re moving homes, or whatever it may be- don’t let this food just sit there. Take food with a long shelf life, such as things in tins, along to your local food bank. There’s no need for anything to go to waste.