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So What is Zero Waste Week?
It’s an annual awareness campaign which encourages you to throw less stuff away. Have you ever even thought where “away” actually is? Well, it’s either a landfill site where things hang around for hundreds of years, possibly causing toxic pollution. Or “away” is an incinerator or bottom of the ocean where it is causing devastation to wildlife. Zero Waste week looks to show you how to save resources, save money and have fun in the process.
So here are my own top 5 Ways to Reduce Food Waste in particular as I think this is the easiest area to tackle as a family.
Frozen fruit and veg is a brilliant way of avoiding all that gunky gone off veg at the back of your cupboard which you forgot about. Having a freezer packed with frozen food means if you get a last minute invite out for dinner, your meal planning hasn’t gone to waste (literally!) It’s still frozen and ready for another day’s meal. Frozen fruit and veg also has the benefit of early captured nutrients. Plus it is often cheaper from the supermarket too and is already prepared so saves you time in the kitchen as well. Being environmentally friendly shouldn’t be putting you out of pocket, otherwise it isn’t truly sustainable.
Nature’s Finest kindly sent us some jarred mango in juice to try. It’s a huge bottle suitable to be kept in the fridge so the fruit remains nice and fresh. This has been perfect for feeding the boys as they don’t always want the same fruit for a number of days running and still only have small portions. If I buy fresh fruit I’m relying on the boys wanting that fruit right at the point of it being ripe which isn’t always the case and that causes our food waste. The fruit is fresh and still tasty whenever we want it. The juice is delicious mixed with lemonade or on its own and the jar can be recycled so there really is zero waste.
Eat Seasonal and Local
Seasonal fruits and vegetables will stay fresher for longer, especially if they have been harvested locally. We’re coming up to the time where you can pick your own pumpkins. This is a great family activity to do together plus the lack of air miles (think “Farm to Fork”) means that the food will remain fresh for much longer than if you had bought it from a supermarket.
Foraging walks are the latest trend in the exercise world and it is understandable why. The walks are free and there’s chance for a chat and catch up with friends and the opportunity to meet new, like-minded people. By only picking the amount you really need rather than buying in bulk, you’re getting food for free and reducing the chance of food waste once you’re home.
Meal Plan & Use a Shopping List
By planning your meals, you can work with your family to ensure you’re only making the meals they actually want to eat so nothing goes to waste. You can factor in after school activities or partners working away so you don’t buy food unnecessarily. We use this pad from Amazon which as an easy tick box system to say what is actually needed from the supermarket and this menu planner.
Use Your Garden: Grow Your Own and Compost
If you’re ever taken care of a tomato plant, you’ll know how unlikely you are to waste food you have cultivated yourself! We have a few fruit trees and I love that there is zero, packaging, zero transport and carbon emitted in the process of picking my apples!
You can sign up for more tips from Zero Waste Week by clicking here.
*Disclosure – this post was written in collaboration with Nature’s Finest and contains affiliate links.