Do you know one of the worst things we can put into land fill?

I’ll give you a clue it generates 70 times more green house gas emissions than plastic when sent to landfill…

It’s our food waste! Although it doesn’t take hundreds of years to break down like plastic does, the way it breaks down in landfill without air, releases methane, which is a more potent green house gas than CO2. 

Food waste accounts for 6% of global emissions. This includes everything from the farm to the fork.  So trying to buy locally and in season can help with the food waste in transit.   However the average household throws away 85 kg of edible food every year, which is around £450 a year worth of food!  And 25% of food waste is because we make too much. 

Freezing extra food we make or using apps like Olio or Too Good to Go can help here.  I recently watched a presentation by the company Olio.  They said in most cases if you list something you can’t use, it will be collected by someone who can use it within the hour.  Many people are turning to apps like Olio or Too Good to go who rely on food banks, as most food banks don’t give out fresh fruit and veg, so they can top up there. 

You can also try making meals with leftovers. My favourites are making smoothies from spinach and fruit that’s looking past its best, and Omelettes with left over veg. Ignoring best before dates can also help reducing waste, just applying common sense to the look and smell is often all we need. And my top tip, don’t go shopping hungry or without a list!

In terms of food we can’t use such as peeling, shells and skins, if you are lucky (as we are in Chester) this will be collected for recycling by your local council.  However many don’t have this so may need to find an alternative. 

Composting could be an option.  You don’t need anything fancy for this, however you will need a bit of a garden and some space.  I started a couple of years ago and have found it easy to get going.  I find as long as I use a mixture of garden waste and raw food waste and turn it every couple of weeks then it is coming out well.  Although occasionally I will need to open it up for some rain to get in and give it some moisture. I am by no means an expert so if you think you want to give it go you might find this useful.      

If you want to look at areas to reduce your food we waste, here are the key ones:

  • First what we buy; if it is in season and local then it will travel less and be fresher.  Only buy what you need when you need it.  
  • Second use what we have; if we do make too much, freeze or use the leftovers for your next meal or offer it to someone who can use it.
  • Finally recycle what we can; either with the local kerb side (if we are lucky) or as compost.   

If anyone is up for a 5 day challenge to reduce their food waste then you can check this step out by Giki.

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