The Basics Of Reducing Food Waste
Reducing food wastage brings several key benefits, such as saving money, helping reduce environmental impact and energy and resource conservation.
In the UK, food wastage is a huge problem and sadly the issue seems to be growing year on year. In the UK alone, 7.3 million tonnes of household food is wasted annually.
The positive news is that reducing food waste is something that is relatively easy to achieve on an individual basis, although getting the whole population to do that is somewhat harder!
Why Do We Need To Start Reducing Food Waste?
So where does the 7.3 million tonnes of wood waste end up? Many people assume that the food they waste magically disappears when they throw it away, although while some of it does get ‘recycled’ actually much of it does the exact opposite; the food waste of the UK ends up in landfills, and it stays in that same landfill for however long it takes to decompose. The good news is that when the food is put into landfills, it is strategically layered so that the food is able decompose in the most efficient manner.
The problem with decomposition is that methane gets released throughout the process and this is a greenhouse gas. This release of methane into the air is contributing to the effect of Climate Change where greenhouse gases including methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, cause heat to become trapped in the earth’s atmosphere, meaning that food waste has a real impact on Climate Change.
By reducing food waste, it will not only benefit the environment and help reduce resource consumption, it will also help you as an individual. The single largest producer of the UK’s food waste is domestic households. Wasted food in the UK is estimated to cost around £250-£400 per year, therefore if you waste less food, you will have more money in your pocket!
By implementing small changes to the ways, you handle, and consume food, you could notice a big difference within your home.
Ways to Start Reducing Food Waste
There are some very simple and easy ways to reduce food waste in your home, which leaves no excuse to not start reducing your own food waste!
One of the easiest ways to make sure food doesn’t go past its use by date is to know how to store the produce. Below are some useful things to know about re-heating, re-using and recipes!
Storing Raw Meat
Most types of raw meat can be stored in the freezer – larger cuts of meat can be frozen for up to 6 months; smaller cuts can be frozen for up to 4 months; and minced meats can be frozen for up to 3 months. This is a great way to reduce the waste of meat that you might have bought in excess of or maybe you treated yourself to a meal out instead of cooking, just make sure to fully defrost when you are ready to cook!
Invest In A Compost Bin
Start composting leftover food such as vegetable peelings, fruit peelings, teabags and coffee grounds, and dry cat or dog food. A compost bin is designed to gradually break down the food put in so that you can use it as soil and nutrients for your garden.
Any leftovers of cooked meals can be eaten the following days. Pasta and rice dishes, cooked meats and seafood, soups, food containing eggs, cooked vegetables, etc – these can all be kept refrigerated for 3-4 days after they have been cooked, and if you don’t consume them within 3-4 days they can then be frozen for even longer!
Get creative with your everyday cooking! There are so many recipes out there that include the use of leftovers, or food that is going out of date! Have you got bananas that are turning brown? Make banana bread! Use up any eggs by making a quiche, which will use up vegetables and meats too!
Store and Seal
Make sure to use sealed containers and cover any open foods to avoid bacteria growing. Labelling these containers is also a good idea, so you can visibly see what foods you have to use up. A lot of households like to add the use by date to these labels as well to be sure nothing goes uneaten.
What will happen if we don’t start reducing food waste?
The UK Government have done a huge amount to push the UK to be greener and combat Climate Change, including increasing the energy efficiency of homes and installing more renewable energy however in order to tackle Climate Change completely, we need to target every single contributing factor, so reducing food waste is actually incredibly important.
Looking to make a bigger change?
At Hero, we offer you the opportunity to join the fight against climate change and transition your home or business with renewable energy. Start generating your future today and ensure that your home or business is future proofed with our range of renewable energy systems.
Give our team a call on 0808 222 0 111, to find out how you can go green!