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Waste Not, Want Not A food waste guide brought to you by The Climate Venture Collective

Did you know that all the wasted food could feed the world’s hungry 4x over?

Food waste is not only a serious social issue, rotting food in landfill is a huge contributor to global warming. If food waste was a country, it would be the 3rd largest carbon polluter after the USA and China. If everyone made small changes to tackle food waste, we could drastically reduce greenhouse gasses which are released into the atmosphere.

The Climate Venture Collective is a community of diverse people that collaborate to start projects that solve the climate crisis. The need for a campaign that highlights the relationship between food waste and the climate crisis was apparent when household food waste increased significantly at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the course of lockdown, we ran the #lockdownleftovers campaign to find the most impactful ways to tackle food waste at home.

We have compiled our top tips in this handy guide and it is designed to help you tackle food waste easily at home, helping to reduce your environmental footprint and positively impact the planet. Making small adjustments over time will have a big impact on the environment as well as save you money, so we hope you find it useful.

And remember- a little effort goes a long way!

If you are interested, we encourage you to join our community here.

How can I help?

You don’t have to make huge sacrifices to make a difference. There are many small changes that can be made to help reduce food waste at home. Just find the ones that work for you.

We’ve all done it - the last few slices in the loaf get forgotten about and go dry or mouldy, so we throw them away. The solution? Freeze your sliced loaf the day you buy it, then you can use slices for toast whenever you fancy, or quickly defrost a couple for a sandwich. 

Palm oil causes mass deforestation which releases tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, it is an area the size of Switzerland and is dedicated to plantations. We can help by looking at the packaging of our everyday items, from peanut butter to shampoo, and to make sure we buy responsibly sourced palm oil.

WRAP report, 2019, revealed that we throw away £14 billion worth of food that could have been eaten. This equates to an average of £60 per family each month. By reducing your food waste, you are not only saving the planet, but you are also saving a significant amount of your hard-earned money.

Top tips to reduce food waste and tackle climate change

The best thing you can do is to get educated and spread your knowledge so others can start reducing their own food waste!

Simple daily changes you can make include:

Freeze leftovers and fresh foods such as bread, spinach, fruit and veg, and cook from frozen.

Bulk cook at the beginning of the week and freeze individual portions, such as lasagne, soup, and cookies.

Find recipes that use up fruit and veg that's going bad, such as banana bread, smoothies and soups.

Plan your meals and write a shopping list, this will help you know what is in your cupboards and fridge so you don't double up on food you already have.

Freeze leftover wine and sauces in ice cube trays, then just pop a cube in a pan when you cook.

Transform boring leftovers into something new, such as mash potato into veggie fritters, porridge into oat pancakes, or plain rice into spicy fried rice balls. Be creative!

How can my friends and family help?

Once you start noticing the positive impact of making these small changes, such as saving money, finding less mouldy food in the fridge, having to empty the food waste bin less often, you may want to encourage your friends and family to do the same. Not everyone knows that food waste is one of the leading causes of climate change so educate them on the importance of reducing food waste. You are setting an example; proving that small changes are possible and often much easier than we think.

These 3 recipes will help you cook up a storm whether it is breakfast, dinner, or an afternoon snack and are perfect for sharing with friends and family.

All you need for these delicious pancakes is:

  • 1 banana
  • 100g oats
  • 185 ml plant based milk (we've used coconut)

Simply whizz the oats in a blender, then add the banana and milk until a batter forms. Cook in a non-stick pan, and flip the pancakes after 2 minutes. Top with whatever you fancy! We love blueberries and peanut butter, but the possibilities are endless!

I don’t know about you, but I always cook too much rice. It puffs up into fluffy clouds of goodness and deceives me every time. But then I started having fried rice for lunch the next day and now I could never go back to throwing away leftover grains. ⠀

Make sure you put the leftover rice in the fridge straight away - don’t leave it on the side to cool naturally. The next day, whack some oil, garlic, onion and carrots in a frying pan and heat until soft. Then chuck in any other veg, like frozen peas or sweetcorn. Finally, add the rice and a generous splash of tamari/soy sauce and fry until everything is hot. Voila - delicious fried rice to enjoy on its own or as a side.

Hummus is a snack-time favourite but always comes in plastic! Why not try this homemade version for an afternoon treat and save on packaging too!

Ingredients

  • Chickpeas - 1 tin
  • Tahini - 3 tbsp (if you don't have this, replace it with 60ml olive oil)
  • Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
  • Cumin - 1 tsp
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional, 1 garlic clove crushed (great way to use up those cloves going dry in your cupboard)

Method

Blitz it all up in your processor and there you have the perfect dipping partner for all those veg in your fridge.

More easy recipe ideas that use up leftovers or food on the turn:

Delicious sorbet and ice lollies - use any leftover fruit and berries

Breakfast oat cookies - made with over ripe bananas

Mediterranean bruschetta - revive that stale bread

Soup and veggie lasagne/curry/chilli - chuck in any combination of leftover over veg or pulses

All of these recipes can be found with a quick online search.

Want to find out more?

If you have the time and capacity why not try volunteering at a food waste organisation or food bank. These groups are always looking for support in a range of ways. So, whether you're a dab hand at writing and fancy helping them gain publicity with a jazzy article/blog, or love to cook and can use your skills in a kitchen, or have experience in fundraising, logistics, research...the possibilities are endless.

Don't stop learning, find out more about food waste and the different organisations out there. Here is a small list we have put together that can provide you with more information:

We hope this document has given you some food for thought— remember, a little effort goes a long way!

Created By
The CVC
Appreciate

Credits:

Created with images by Thomas Le - "untitled image" • Mohamed Nohassi - "Without wings I can feel free" • Bruna Branco - "Oranges"