This week is Zero Waste Week. What exactly does that mean?
This is a global awareness campaign started to inspire us to reduce our waste, reuse materials and recycle.
This doesn’t just mean our food, but this is a good place to start.
The UK alone throws away 9.5 million tonnes of food a year. Thats enough to fill 195 Royal Albert Halls. (IPCC 2019) 4.5 million tonnes of that food is edible.
We throw away 18% of the food we buy! That is £13 billion worth every year (WRAP)
We actually reduced this in lockdown. (Probably thanks to us all baking banana breads 😉)
This may seem daunting but there are so many small changes we can all make at home to stop wasting food. 💪
Reducing our Food Waste
Were you told growing up (… thanks mum) ‘don’t eat the apple core otherwise you will grow an apple tree in your tummy?’ Or was that just us?
We need to get over the barrier of not using all parts of foods, from banana peels to ends of carrots.
- Apple cores: Why not make your own apple cider vinegar
- Banana peels: They may go a bit brown and look gross but they are full of antioxidants! Time to add them to your next banana bread, make them into a chutney or chuck into your smoothie.
- Ends of veg: Why throw ends away when you can make them into delicious stock. One top tip we learnt recently was to have a freezer bag and chuck any ends of veg as you chop in the bag, and when you have enough in the freezer you can pop it in a sauce pan with water and simmer for 40 mins to make your own vegetable stock! You’re not wasting any of that veg that you are already buying and no need to buy stock (and that non recyclable packaging!)
- Peelings: We can do so much with them. Make apple peel jelly. Parsnip cheese or why not just add ginger skins in cooking.
Not only will this help save the planet but will save you money and resources!
What other ways can we reduce waste?
Remember all those tote bags you have stored somewhere. Time to dig those out and keep them handy in all bags. No need to be buying plastic bags from shops anymore (and they’ve gone up in price anyway!)
What disposable item do you have at home that can be replaced with a reusable one. One of our new favourites is WILD deodorant.
There are some fantastic initiatives out there. Try Olio the food sharing app. Instead of throwing something away when you know you’re going away for a few days or have bought something you don’t like, give it to someone in your neighbourhood.
4.Borrow or rent
Weddings and parties are finally back on. Instead of buying a new outfit, why not rent a preloved outfit. £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year (WRAP).
Next time you want to buy something, ask yourself: how many times will I wear this? By wearing your clothes for an extra nine months, you can reduce waste and water usage by 20-30% (Fashion for Good). No matter how used a piece of clothing is, it can be given a second life. If you can’t find a use, put them into textiles recycling or collection banks. Make sure you look after your clothes. One cold wash per week for a year can save equivalent of driving 123km.
I currently have 642 emails sat in my inbox (don’t worry, only 110 unread…) According to The Good Planet, if everyone worldwide deleted 10 emails, it has the power of deleting 1,725,00 GB because storing 1GB of emails or 1,000 emails takes 32 kWh, generating 55.2 million kWh.
Right, time to delete some emails!