Hello February!!! Finally, you are here! I’m sure I’m not the only one glad to see the back of what’s felt like a really long month! But there’s another reason I’m happy the first of the month has finally rolled around. During February I’m taking part in a huge challenge in partnership with Norfolk County Council and Suffolk County Council, and the environmental charity Hubbub. They’re asking me to see if I can reduce my food waste and become #FoodSavvy. What does this mean? It means I’m going to be trying to reduce how much avoidable food we throw away as a family. Avoidable food waste isn’t things like vegetable peelings and tea bags, or bones from your Sunday Roast. What I’ll be trying to lower is edible, leftover food, that gets thrown away, usually because it’s out of date, or in our instance, the kids just won’t eat it!
The benefits of cutting food waste
Did you know that every year £810 worth of edible food is thrown away in Norfolk and Suffolk households? That’s almost £70 worth of food not being eaten and thrown away every month! Madness!! Not only does reducing food waste help your bank balance, of course, it helps the environment. So when I was approached and asked to take part it was a no brainer. With an accountant for a husband who’s always conscious of our household spending, it seemed like a great challenge to see whether we could actually cut how much leftover food we throw away, and in turn save money.
Working with environmental charity Hubbub, Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils are launching Food Savvy, campaign designed to reduce household food waste by 20% by 2025.
My thoughts going into the challenge
I have to say I think we’re pretty good in our house at using food up. But there’s always the odd thing we forget about which ends up chucked in the bin. The cream cheese that’s looking a bit dodgy, the yoghurt that have accidentally not been eaten before their use by date. The half a bag of salad leaves that now look well past their best…
Last year I became much more concerned and interested in the environment and started making steps to cut our families plastic use. We’ve also made small changes such as trying to shop at the butchers when we can and we also bought a composter for our garden. So some food goes in there, whether it’s avoidable or not. I have to admit if the food caddy is full and it’s raining, I’ll still pop my leftovers in the kitchen bin. So I do need to make more effort. And things like out of date yoghurt go in the bin and straight to landfill, harming our environment. I know there’s so much more that I can do, which is why I’m happy to take part in this challenge.
I’ve literally just found out you shouldn’t store your onions in the fridge… “Onions are best stored in a cool, dry, dark place (they don’t like fridges but do love a tote bag).” **Immediately runs to take the bag of onions out of the fridge…**
What I’ll be doing to become #FoodSavvy
At the start of the month I’ll be measuring how much avoidable food waste we throw away each day. I’ll then be trialing some products from IKEA, Lakeland and Scoby. The products are designed to help you keep food for longer, store it properly and ultimately waste less food. I’ll fill you in on how we’re doing and share any tips and tricks I’ve learnt along the way. Like the onions! (Here 10 ways to avoid food that often goes to waste.) A lot of it will down to thinking of new ways to use leftovers, new recipes and storing food properly. And of course the all important meal planning!! I try to meal plan but I’m interested to see if there’s a better way.
The one thing I’m thinking will be hard to change is the amount of baby’s food that ends up in the bin, after being thrown on the floor repeatedly and/or refused to be eaten! We’ll see… At the end of February I’ll re-measure our weekly avoidable food waste to see whether it’s come down at all thanks to the new habits and products we’ve been using.
I’m really looking forward to the challenge and seeing if the products help us, and if we save any money! You can join in with the #FoodSavvy challenge too and there’s loads of information on the Hubbub website.
Wish me luck – I’ll report back in a few weeks!