The ultimate zero waste guide to reducing food waste

think about food waste - zero waste weekWelcome to day 4 of Zero Waste Week 2016.

Our Facebook Group is full of engaged and inspiring people all making a difference.

For Zero Waste Week I invited them to share their ‘no brainer’ tips for reducing food waste.

I was after the really simple ideas that anyone could implement and see instant benefits. Here’s what they came up with:

Make soup!

Paula wrote “Make ‘bottom of the fridge soup’ with some left over cream. It’s never the same twice, but always delicious!”

Here’s a pic of what’s going into her soup this week!


Katharina agrees, she writes “Any sad looking veg in my fridge are used for soup which I freeze for days where a quick dinner is necessary

Make crisps!

Jane wrote “Potato peelings, drizzle some oil salt and pepper into the oven until crisp, lovely snack.

Separate wants and needs

Jasmin, Dawn and Katherine reminded us to “Only buy as much as you need.

Love your peels

Katherine wrote “Don’t peel potatoes out carrots. Just give them a wash. (mashed spuds can be “rustic” lol)

Only serve what will be eaten

Roisin has a great tip for parents. She writes “Serve kids small portions with extra in a serving dish… Leftovers can still be used afterwards instead of being wasted having been messed about by kids.

Love your old veg

Minna shared ” If veg is starting to look a bit tired, throw it in a curry, stew, pasta or potato bake etc. Most veg goes with anything.”

Meal plan

We have several advocates of meal planning including Katherine and EmmaJayne.

Brenda went into more detail with her fab idea about getting the family on board. She advised “If you get the whole family to plan meals you tend to find that they are happier to eat the meals and therefore less wastage

Make stock!

Emily said “Save vegetable shavings and ends for stock!

Press the pause button

Heather, Katherine and Ania reminded us that freezing food is a great way to prevent waste by saving it for later.

Vicky reminded us “Remember you can still freeze things right up until use buy date

Stephanie shared a great idea. She wrote “Freeze all leftovers and keep a list. Then have a British Tapas Day every so often.

Jesamine is a woman after my own heart. Grapes always go off, right? She shares “Pick grapes off the stem, wash and freeze. They taste delicious frozen, especially red ones!

Shop in your cupboards

Lyn wrote “Don’t just order/buy the same each week. Check to see what you need. Before you head to the shops for something for tea just look in the fridge, freezer and cupboards. And ask yourself, do I really need to go shopping?

Plan ahead

Samantha wrote “It’s not rock and roll… but planning the food shopping saves so much waste.”

Get creative

Shona wrote “Be adventurous with leftovers and anything that is past its best. I had some asparagus ends to put in soup but they’d gone soft. I chucked them in anyway and they were good!”

Let’s ignore best before

This has been our mantra all week! Emily reminds us “Don’t go with best before dates for the most part! They are over cautious with those things!

let's ignore best before zero waste week


Make smoothies

Deborah offered “Smoothies. When fruit is becoming too ripe, put in freezer and add to your next smoothie instead of ice.

Keep it IN sight, IN mind

Jordon wrote “I put the “need to eat first” items in the front/top of the fridge for easy access and the foods that can wait a bit towards the back and bottom. You need to frequently rotate/clean out your fridge for this to really work.”

Jim agreed and shared “Have a short date/at risk of going off shelf in the fridge, so you use those items first.”

Grow Your own

By growing some of your own food, even if it’s just a few herb pots or a hanging basket of tomatoes, you can harvest the amount you need without waste.

Grab a doggy bag

We’re a bit less inclined to do this in the UK, but Michelle recommends we grab a doggy bag. She writes “When I go out to eat, I either order something small (soup or an appetizer) or I order something that will reheat well.” (I’m assuming Michelle then takes home items that will reheat well and eats them the following day).

Give up the aspiration

Alice writes “If you consistently find yourself wasting the same stuff – stop buying it! Maybe you’re just not a broccoli/kale/ginger etc. person.

Check with the pros

If you’re in any doubt about food safety, Alex shared “Use to see if the questionable food is still safe to eat.

Love your wrinkles

Una recommends “Make compote for brekkie with tired fruit. (Plums + brown sugar + cinnamon = boom!)”

From wraps to crackers

Una again suggests “leftover wraps can be cut in triangle shapes and grilled to make crackers.”

Keep an inventory

Wanji suggests putting a sticky note on the fridge with a list of the perishables that need using up. From here you can plan what to cook without opening your fridge. She particularly recommends this is you are living with housemates and sharing a fridge so you can keep track of what you’ve bought.

Tell me – which tip has inspired you most and what will you be doing differently this week?

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Rachelle Strauss

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