Not only does this squander one third of all the resources that go into food production, packaging and transport, but when the discarded food rots in landfills it produces methane, a major greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
Some tips for avoiding food waste:
- Plan your meals a week ahead, check which ingredients you have and make a shopping list of only what you need - and stick to it.
- Check that your fridge temperature is 1-5 degrees C and that the door seals properly.
- Don't throw perfectly good food away: use up leftovers wherever possible. Slightly overripe fruit is fine to be made into smoothies and slightly wilting vegetables into soups and stews.
- Put newly-bought foods at the back of the fridge and kitchen cupboards, and bring older items to the front so you remember to use them before their use-by date.
- Use your freezer. Freeze food in batches; freeze sliced bread before it goes stale.
- Serve smaller portion sizes so people will be more likely to clear their plates (our portion sizes tend to be bigger than is good for us anyway!)
- Start a compost bin.
- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor
Got a good green tip to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post on the EnviroHealth Forum – if it's a planet-saver, we'll publish it.