Kirklees Council has teamed up with the Love Food Hate Waste campaign to highlight the environmental impact of food waste.
The reduction of food waste plays a major part in the council’s plans to tackle the climate emergency.
According to research conducted by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) if every person in the UK wasted no food at home for one day, it could have the same impact on greenhouse gases as planting half a million trees.
In addition to the environmental benefits, there is also money to be saved by households in reducing their food waste before even entering a supermarket.
As part of Food Waste Action Week the council will be sharing hints and tips on how to reduce food waste and reuse leftovers, ultimately saving households money. Tips include understanding dates on food packaging and storing fresh food and leftovers properly.
Clr Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “Whilst preparing for our waste strategy engagement at the end of last year we discovered that 36% of the average Kirklees household’s waste is food waste.
“While some waste is unavoidable, we want to make sure that all residents have access to information and support to help reduce unnecessary food waste.
“Starting during Food Waste Action Week we will be sharing information in the coming months to help every resident to take small steps towards reducing their waste and helping them to save money.”
According to WRAP, wasted food contributes 8%–10% of total man-made greenhouse gas emissions – and roughly one third of food produced around the world is wasted.
Since the mid-2000s the UK’s annual food waste has reduced from 11.2 million tonnes to 9.5 million tonnes.
Here’s some tips on how you can reduce your food waste and save money:
It’s a date: Know the difference between a ‘use by’ date and ‘best before’ dates. ‘Use by’ is about safety and food should not be eaten after this date as there could be a risk of food poisoning. ‘Best before’ is about quality and food will be safe to eat for some time.
Compleat: Over two-thirds of the food we waste is edible. Try ‘compleating’ by using the edible leafy parts of vegetables like carrots, celery and cauliflower in homemade stocks or soups. Why not try leaving the skin on mashed potato too?
Chill out: The average fridge temperature is almost 7C. Reduce it to 5C and your food will last longer.
Produce perfect portions: Stick to the correct portion sizes and if you do have leftovers get creative with them. They could be tomorrow’s lunch or freeze for another day.
Make a shopping list: Don’t buy too much and only buy what you know you’ll eat.
Freeze: Did you know you can freeze your sliced loaf and toast slices straight from frozen?
Compost: Try a home composter. Food waste can be recycled and turned into compost for the garden.
To find out more about Food Waste Action Week visit the Love Food Hate Waste website and keep an eye on the council’s social media during the week for useful hints and tips.