If we all stopped wasting food that could have been eaten, the benefit to the planet would be equivalent to taking 1 in 4 cars off the road. This interesting fact from Love Food Hate Waste highlights the growing concern for the amount of food we waste unnecessarily.
Do you end up throwing away your weekly loaf of bread because it’s gone stale before it’s been used? More often than not, we throw away food fit for consumption because we prepare too much or we don’t use it in time. Every year in the UK 18 million tonnes of food ends up in landfill and there’s a number of ways you can help to combat this by minimising food waste in your office and at home:
• Shop smart – short shelf life or over purchasing can often result in out of date produce. Look to buy alternatives with a longer shelf life or buy loose where possible to ensure you only purchase as much as you need.
• Develop an office lunch rota and eat as a team – not only does this help you use up fresh ingredients, it’s also cost-effective and a great way of trying new food.
• Invest in an office freezer – this way if there’s still leftovers, you can freeze and save them for later.
• Make sure the office fridge is functioning at maximum efficiency and at the correct temperature – this will ensure that the fridge keeps food fresh for as long as possible.
• Store better – if you regularly throw away stale office treats that have been left over the weekend, try storing them in airtight containers. This should help them keep longer – or at least until you get round to finishing them on Monday!
• Donate what you don’t use! Have those cans of soup been collecting dust in the kitchen for the past three months? Donate them to a food bank before they expire so they don’t go to waste. Try doing this every few months and get staff to bring in unwanted food from their own kitchens too.
• Finally, when you do need to throw food away, office composting is a great way to stop food waste ending up in landfill and it’s easy to use separate, clearly labelled bins for food waste. A waste management and recycling company can then take care of the waste disposal for you!
Photo courtesy of szczel (flikr)