Make our Move

Want to do something good for the environment? Not sure where to start? Climate change is a huge issue, so it's easy to get overwhelmed, or confused about what we can actually do to help. 

You're not alone. In fact 2 in 3 of us are concerned with the impact of climate change, yet only 1 in 5 know what action we can take to reduce our impact. Over a third of us would like clearer guidance on what would make a difference and where to start. So we've done the hard work for you.

We’ve pulled together 12 clear actions you can take that'll have a positive impact. Luckily, decisions that are good for the environment are usually good for us too. They can save us money, keep us healthy, and be a great way to connect with others. Whether you just want to try some simple sustainable swaps, or are looking to extend your actions to your workplace and community, we've got ideas to help. 

Let's make our move, together. 

Why is food waste bad for the environment?

Believe it or not, if food waste alone was a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of carbon emissions globally! It contributes hugely to our environmental footprint because so many resources go into growing it, processing it, packaging, storing, transporting, etc.

And when it goes into landfill instead of being composted, its impact continues... Although it's a natural material, buried under plastic and without oxygen it can't biodegrade naturally, and ends up releasing methane (a greenhouse gas that is 25x stronger than carbon!). 

Nobody wastes food on purpose, but there are some easy things we can do to use up as much as possible of the food we buy. Better valuing and using up your food will save you money on your food shop too! Climate change can feel like a huge and abstract problem, but food is something we have control over multiple times a day, and can make a difference with every meal.

How can save money and food from going to waste?

1) Keep a track 

Nobody wastes food on purpose, so you might not even notice where more food could be saved till you actively look. Spend a week or so trying to notice what ingredients are most commonly thrown away, is it often leftovers, or things you never got round to using at all? If you know what's being thrown away and how, it's easier to change!

2) Check it 

Always check your fridge and cupboards for what you've already got before you go food shopping. You might have forgotten tasty treats you already have, or you might spot ingredients that need to be finished, so you can plan your shop better to combine with those. Check labels too, so you know what needs to be used up first. Do you know what all the different food labels mean? Check out our tips to refresh your memory!

2) Plan it

Meal planning is a great way to help reduce food waste, as you'll only buy the things you need and know what days you're eating them. Remember to save some empty days in your plan for eating out, or sorting out leftovers and random ingredients. Not done much planning before? No problem! Check out our tips for meal prepping like a pro. 

3) Store it 

Storing our food correctly can help it last longer, and give us a better chance of using it up. Check out our 10 top tips for storing fruit and veg to keep it happy and fresh for as long as possible. 

4) Freeze it 

Getting friendly with your freezer could save you a wad of cash, and save a lot of food from the bin! Did you know you can freeze almost anything safely, and without reducing the quality or nutritional value? Check out some of these freezable ingredients that might surprise you!

5) Share it

Going on holiday? Cooked too much? Sometimes we will have done all the meal prep and planning yet still have spare food that's perfectly good. This food can be shared with your local Community Fridge or check out Olio app to share food with your neighbours - it could be odd ingredients or full blown meals! 

All food is not equal

Throwing away different foods will have different environmental impacts based on how many resources it took to produce them and how far they traveled. For example, throwing away red meat has an impact about 28x greater than throwing away a potato! Trying to use up foods like meat, dairy and fish is really valuable. Other foods like bananas can't be grown in the UK so are always imported from far away, yet 1.4 million are thrown away every day in the UK! Check out some of our top tips for saving bananas from the bin, or our general food saving recipes.


Ever heard of the Community Fridge Network?

It's a network of (you guessed it) fridges that are helping redistribute good food that would otherwise go to waste, by sharing it for free in communities. We started the Community Fridge Network back in 2016, and we now have over 300 fridges across the UK, making it the world's largest. Each fridge collects surplus food from local businesses, organisations or people and anyone is welcome to take it! The network redistributes a massive 13.6 million meals worth of food every year, feeding people and reducing food waste at the same time.

It's not a food bank, it's a sharing platform that connects local people and those who eat the food are just as important as those who donate it. Many of the fridge locations offer their community lots of other support like chances to socialise and share skills, and initiatives like community gardens or cooking & nutrition workshops. Engaging with a community fridge is a great way to connect with and support your local community, all while helping reduce food waste. Find a fridge near you and get involved! You could drop off food, pick up food, or volunteer!


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