Eat up

Reduce your food waste

Food is fantastic. But we often overestimate our appetite: you know the story of that massive chicken curry that never got finished, or the mould that profited most from the BOGOF offer on hot cross buns.

Each household in the UK throws out £470 worth of food every year, on average. Make the pledge to reduce that waste - we'll send you some tips to help you along the way,

Why

Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.

Waste

The average UK household discards 25% of the food and drink they buy.1 That's like coming home with four shopping bags of food and throwing one straight in the bin. Together we stack up almost 4.2 million tons of food waste, which the already stuffed landfills have to swallow.2

120kg

of food thrown away per person every year3 - that's 150 loaves of bread.

Money

A bargain is only a bargain if you need it, as Mum always said. The "3 for £5" special offer on the strawberries is no good if the berries are going to end up forgotten and rotten. Spending money on something you'll never use is pretty pointless.

Collectively, the UK squanders £12 billion on never-to-be-munched-on food.5

£470

worth of food is binned by each UK household every year.

Climate change

When we throw food away, all the energy that went into growing, producing and transporting it goes to waste too. Moreover, rotting organic waste on landfill sites produces the greenhouse gas methane, which is even more potent than CO2.

3% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from discarded food. Together with emissions from the imported food we waste, that’s 20 million tons CO2e, the same as the amount of carbon produced by 7 million cars.4

Water

Water is a precious resource used throughout the food production process. Each person throws away the equivalent of 280 litres of water a day with the food they bin.5 That's double the amount of water the average household uses every day.

Global Goals

In September 2017, a historic agreement was signed by UN member nations agreeing to work towards 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030, otherwise known as the SDGs.

Achieving these ambitious goals will require action from governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals alike. We can - and must - all play our part.

By making the 'Eat up' pledge, you are contributing to the following SDG targets:

12.3: By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses

12.8: By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

How

Here are some top tips of our own:

  • Plan ahead and write a shopping list.
  • Don’t fall for bulk offers, unless you know you'll eat it all.
  • Prepare adequate portions.
  • Freeze your leftovers - from wine (pop it in ice trays and use in cooking later) to stews (label it clearly!).
  • Be creative and use up the leftovers - why not turn those squishy bananas into a lovely milkshake?
  • Bring leftovers into work for lunch, or share with your neighbours through Olio, the food sharing app.
  • Store food properly. Bread in the fridge will go off, while most fruit will like it there.
  • Trust your senses. Remember that ‘best before’ dates mean exactly that – they’re best before, but they’re ok after too.

Love Food Hate Waste is a great source of simple advice on how to store your food and also allows you to look for tasty recipes with the ingredients you already have.

Success Stories

2,488

Pledges
in total

123,595kg

CO2
pledged

Zero food waste. The very few bits that were inedible went in the garden.

I buy food on an impulse which usually leads to unnecessary waste. Progress has been made over the last two months - with the aim to continue till I nail it!

Where ever I can I try to keep and use leftovers, even if that mean that my meals aren't the most amazing all the time, being more functional than anything. It is difficult to do it perfectly all the time, but I've definitely gotten better at using everything I buy when I need to.

I have created at least three new recipes from getting creative with my leftovers!

Saved me so much money!

Although this may count as cheating, I have used the holy month of Ramadan to have full control on what I eat. I ate moderately, and I can remember binning out anything during the last couple of months.

This one was hard! I'm going to carry it forward. I've signed up for a weekly fruit and veg box which is helping. Let's see how I get on over the next two months...

I reduced my shopping so just bought, then cooked and ate, which helped. Definitely reduced my waste but costs increased. Need to find balance

Found this pledge more challenging, but intend to keep trying to have less food waste

Really valuable exercise - has reprogrammed how I look at my fridge!

I am enjoying the challenge of creating recipes from random vegetable sin my fridge. Brussel sprout stir fry is remarkably tasty!

Leftovers in our house take on a new meaning now. We actually shop with what we can make with the left overs in mind! We do need more empty takeaway containers/Tupperware now though!

The pledge was a reminder of being more careful of my food waste. I ate at home a lot more and started being more adventurous on getting the most out of what was in my fridge, trying to use all parts of the vegetable rather than just the head for example. Brilliant idea to help make change!

Absolutely nailed it! Rather than eating and shopping for what we wanted at the time, we made the most of leftovers and cupboard staples. There was a significant decrease in the amount of food we threw out.

By trying not to waste food I have saved money and planned my meals which has been a change for the better. I am trying to encourage others to do the same.

We discovered some tasty new recipes that used up bread (as breadcrumbs) while fulfilling this pledge!

Great idea waste less food and also save me money.

I have managed to stick to a shopping list and used any leftovers for meals reducing any waste.

Bringing lunch to work more often helps keep the food waste low

I'm buying less food and am wasting less.

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