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Reduce food waste


Banana holding sign 'wasting food is driving me bananas'

70% of all food wasted comes from our homes. If each person in the UK stopped wasting food for one day, it would do the same for climate change as taking 14,000 cars off the road for a year...

It isn't always easy to change habits, but  throwing food away has a substantial environmental impact. If we start to think more carefully about what we buy, and how we approach food, we can make small changes which will make a large difference overall.

How is food waste impacting climate change?

When we waste food, it's not just the food we're wasting, resources including the water and land that has been needed to produce the food are also wasted too. 

Greenhouse gases trap heat within the atmosphere, causing a warming effect. While this is a natural process, human activity has caused increased levels of greenhouse gases in a short period, resulting in rapid changes to the Earth's climate.

25-30% of global greenhouse gases comes from the food system alone - whether it's the odd spotty banana or sprouting potato, each piece of food wasted contributes towards climate change.

Ways to reduce food waste

The information below suggests ways in which you can reduce food waste in your home:

1. Educate yourself

Find out more facts and take the quiz at Wasting Food: It's Out of Date - take the quiz.

Find out the difference between 'Use by' and 'Best before' dates at Food Standards Agency - best before and use by dates.

2. Plan and prep

A game-changer... Plan what you are thinking of eating for the week ahead and note down what you already have in your fridge and freezer to use up. Think about any plans you have and how your eating habits may change dependent on this.

Meal planners 

Our meal planner can help you avoid food waste and save money by only using what you need. 

Use the planner to plan what you are eating for the week, what you need to use up and what extra items you need to buy. 

View and print out our meal planners:

3. Make your freezer your best friend

Change of plans? Most items can be frozen and defrosted later. Save waste and money by utilising that freezer space!

4. Love your leftovers

Leftovers make a great lunch or can be incorporated into another meal depending on what you're working with - just make sure these are stored correctly. Recipes and tips can be found at Love Food Hate Waste.

5. Be food-aware

Take note of what foods you throw away each week. Can you see a pattern? Are you constantly throwing away bread and why do you think this is? Maybe it's time to start buying a smaller loaf!

6. Talk to your friends, family and colleagues

Perhaps those you know have some great tips for reducing food waste and saving money on your shopping bill.

7. Donate to a food bank

Consider donating your unwanted food to a local food bank. To view a list of providers and contact details visit Help in Preston - Food Support.

8. Consider composting

Food waste cannot break down correctly and releases greenhouse gases when directed to landfill. Composting allows food to decompose naturally. For further information on how to compost food scraps at home see home composting.

Love Food Hate Waste - Choose What You'll Use campaign

Choose what you use campaign with words one potato, two potato, sure you need more?

Each year, Love Food Hate Waste run campaigns aimed at radically reducing the amount of food wasted in UK homes.

This year's theme is 'Choose What You'll Use', encouraging you to buy your fruit and vegetables loose instead of packaged.

Research from Love Food Hate Waste has shown that food waste starts from what's bought at the shops, and we could reduce food waste by 60,000 tonnes just by buying loose fruit and veg! Sometimes we are in the mood for a huge potato, and sometimes we just need one carrot for our spag bol. Why let the rest go to waste? Choose loose and you don't have to.

For more information on the campaign, or to sign up to the newsletter, visit Love Food Hate Waste - buy loose, use what you buy.

Wasting Food: It's out of Date 
Sign with words wasting food, it's out of date

Wasting Food - It's Out of Date is a brand created by WRAP, the UK's leading sustainability charity. It is aimed at raising awareness of the huge impact wasting food has on climate change.

For more information on how you can reduce the amount of food waste you are creating at home, along with interesting facts and figures around food waste and a quiz to find out your current levels of food waste visit Wasting Food: It's Out of Date.

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