Planning your meals can help to reduce food waste as you will only be buying the ingredients you need, which will also help you save money. The best way to do this is to look at what you already have in your cupboards, fridge and freezer and see what meals you can make from this or meals those ingredients could go towards. Then before you go to do a food shop decide on the meals you want to make for the week and make a list of what you need to buy.
Having a list and sticking to it will stop you from being tempted to overspend on things you may not need and that will go to waste and looking at what you have in before you do a food shop will prevent you buying the same things again.
Freezing food is a great way to reduce waste and keep food that you haven’t gotten around to eating. Foods can be frozen right up until the use by date and then you can just defrost it when you want it. It’s also an easy way to store leftovers or if you have made a meal in bulk to eat at another time instead of throwing it away.
Did you know most foods can be frozen? Just make sure any cooked food is cooled properly first and check out this guide for tips on freezing your food. So, if you have any food you don’t think you’ll get around to eating this week, freeze it instead of throwing it away.
Did you know the UK wastes 4.5 million tonnes of edible food every year? In the UK, we throw away 6.6 million tonnes of household food waste a year in the UK, almost three quarters is food we could have eaten. The United Nations sustainable development goals 12.3 to halve food waste by 2030 and currently the UK is committed and on target to do this if current food waste rates are maintained.
WRAP reported that there has been around a 15% reduction in total food waste between 2007 and 2018, with 11.2 million tonnes of food waste reported in 2007 compared to 9.5 million tonnes in 2018.
Reducing the amount of meat we eat can make a big difference and has lots of benefits. Meat production contributes to climate change, water depletion and habitat loss.
A study at Oxford University found that eating meat no more than threes times a week could save the NHS £1.2 billion in costs each year.
Check out Meat Free Mondays for more information, some great recipe inspiration and even an impact calculator to see how your changes make a big difference.
Shopping seasonally is also another great way to be more sustainable with your food, while also saving you money. Getting out of season produce to the UK has a big environmental impact due to flying it over from overseas, harsh farming methods to be able to grow the products year round and are often transported in large amounts of plastics to avoid being damaged.
Shopping seasonally instead means your buying the foods that are naturally ready to harvest at the same time you’re eating them. This means these foods will be fresher, cheaper and have a smaller carbon footprint. Look for products grown in the UK next time you go shopping or check out this guide or this poster for what is in season throughout the year.
Useful links and apps
Love Food Hate Waste - A collection of hints, tips, recipes and advice from the Love Food Hate Waste campaign.
Olio - Bought too much food? Or maybe you didn't like something new you were trying? Give it away to someone who wants it.
Too Good To Go - Find a meal locally at a bargain (including on campus)
Change for Life Scanner - Unsure how much sugar is in you food? Find out more.
UN Sustainable Development Goals - Find out more about the 17 UN SDGs and the targets beneath them.