There's nothing appealing about milk that's on the turn or a stale loaf of bread. But the latest stats surrounding food waste in London are also hard to stomach. A study by the Love Food Hate Waste campaign estimates that around 900,000 tonnes of food is thrown out in the city every year – and 540,000 tonnes of that could be avoided, which is enough food to fill 43,000 double decker buses.
That’s why the Love Food Hate Waste campaign is working to help Londoners limit the amount of food we waste and save some cash while we’re at it, too. Here are five simple ways you can do your bit to reduce food waste.
1. Always chucking out half-eaten bags of salad leaves once they’ve gone a bit limp and wilted? Keep leaves crisp by putting a sheet of kitchen towel in the bag to soak up excess moisture, and say goodbye to sad salad leaves.
2. Stop being sucked in by those sneaky supermarket deals. In a survey by Love Food Hate Waste, 84 percent of respondents said they buy extra food when it’s on special offer, meaning they end up buying more than they need. Check if that two-for-one offer is actually a good deal before you chuck a load of extra food in your basket. Unless your favourite ice cream is on offer, obviously – that’s unlikely to stick around long enough to go to waste.
3. Overloaded your fruit bowl in an attempt to get your five-a-day? Keep your bananas separate from the rest of your fruit, as they have a habit of ripening quickly and having a knock-on effect on the rest of your fruit bowl, too. You can also slow down the ripening process by wrapping banana stems in clingfilm to help them stay fresher for longer. Finally, no more blackened bananas.
4. Use your loaf, literally. Around 24 million slices of bread are wasted in the UK each day, and with London’s population at nearly 9.5 million, that’s a wastage of around 2.5 slices per person, per day. And let’s face it, that could quite easily be your breakfast. Stop your bread going stale in the first place by freezing it, or if it’s too late for that, use your stale bread to make croutons or breadcrumbs. One man's trash is another man’s treasure and all that.
5. Can’t bear to have a G&T without a slice of lemon? We feel you. Avoid food waste and make sure your cocktails are always on point by slicing up a load of limes and lemons and sticking them in the freezer. They’ll double up as ice cubes too – win-win.