• Wise up on portion control – In our home we take a small amount of food, eat it up, then go back for more if we want it, rather than piling plates high. Take a look at sites like Love Food Hate Waste for handy tips on how much food to prepare for the number of people you are cooking for.
• Resist BOGOF offers – we’ve all fallen for them; offers that look irresistible but end up being thrown away. Could you say No for zero waste week?
• Use up stored food – I’m currently having a “Use it up!” month from our freezer. We’re pulling out those UFOs (unidentified frozen objects), cooking them up and going to defrost the freezer, ready for a restock in the autumn.
• Share a zero waste recipe – Do you have a favourite recipe you’ve created from leftovers? Some of our best meals have happened by accident, so register and share yours – you never know who you will inspire!
• Buy loose – by purchasing loose fruits and vegetables you can buy exactly the amount you need. You might want just three bananas or a small bunch of grapes. We use our local butcher and baker too – we can buy two sausages or three small rolls. It’s a great way to reduce food waste.
• Menu plan – Personally I’ve never managed to menu plan, but I hear great things from those who do. You can plan each meal then buy the specific ingredients for each meal which means nothing is ever wasted and you don’t end up stockpiling food.
• Ignore best before dates – Best Before dates have nothing to do with food safety; they are all about texture, taste and appearance. Feel free to ignore best before dates and trust your sight, smell and taste instead!
• Don’t shop when hungry! A simple tip that can make all the difference. Take it from you; you’ll end up with bags full of stuff you don’t really want or need just because you were being led by your stomach instead of your common sense.
• Consider ‘leftovers’ as ‘ingredients!’ – For zero waste week banish the word ‘leftovers’ from your vocabulary and start to see them as tomorrow’s ingredients. That tablespoon of sweetcorn, slice of pepper and quarter tin of tuna isn’t food waste, it’s the basis for a tuna pasta bake…
What about you? What could you pledge to do for zero waste week? Tell me in the comments below.