Reducing and disposing of food waste

pile of leftover food

Food waste is a big problem in the UK, with the advent of cheaper food and shopping on a less frequent basis we are throwing away more and more food. In an ideal world we would all shop on a frequent basis, purchasing the exact quantity that we need, but in a culture of a time poor population is this really realistic?

Here are some ways you can help to reduce your food waste

Meal Planning

By sitting down for half an hour each week and planning out your meals, you can not only reduce the amount of waste produced, but you can also save money and hopefully eat more healthily too. It might sound boring, but it’s been proven that shopping with a list will help you save money and make better choices than you would do otherwise.

Meal planning doesn’t need to be complicated or even that time consuming, you could even design a number of weeks and rotate your plan and shopping list to help cut down on the time taken each week to produce it. Shopping online can also help as it takes away the temptation of all of those special offers you see on the end of each aisle in the supermarket.

Freeze what you don’t eat

p>Wherever possible, if you have excess food or you have leftovers from your meals, freeze it. It’s great for those occasions when you know you are going to be tight on time. Simply take your meal out of the freezer the night before and it’ll be all ready for you to re-heat when you get back from work.

It’s amazing how much you can actually freeze, from fruit and vegetables to part made and complete meals. Just make sure that you are aware of the guidelines about what you can and can’t freeze and also re-freezing food and re-heating foods as there are some instances where this isn’t recommended.

Garden Compost

Whilst these tips are great for reducing your waste, they aren’t going to eradicate it completely and so why not consider a compost bin in the garden? A garden compost bin is easy to use and encourages the movement of air to stimulate micro-organisms that break down waste food.

You could keep a mini bin next to the sink for food waste and each day empty this into your compost bin, alternatively you could use degradable waste food bags.

Food Waste Bags and Government Schemes

If you don’t have a garden or large enough garden for a compost bin then you may find yourself in the area of the country where the local Council has a separate food waste collection. Putting your food waste into degradable food waste bags and disposing of it in a separately coloured bin is becoming more common-place. These bins are collected on a weekly basis. For more information on your regular food waste collection and what happens to your food waste, please contact your local council. Different areas of the country have differing schemes in place.