Waste Free Feb – Day 8 – Reducing Food Waste

One area of waste that became more and more apparent as we recycled more was food waste. To some extent it is inevitable that there will be some waste as we are a family of 5 and the children don’t always clear their plates.


The first thing we did was to set up a compost bowl in the kitchen for our of our fresh fruit and vegetable peelings/waste. We are lucky to have a garden big enough that we can have a compost heap. Reusing these scraps by composting them to make rich compost for the garden is definitely a win:win situation!.

Other things you can compost are:

  • Small amounts of brown cardboard
  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Grass clippings
  • Hair
  • Hedge clippings
  • Leaves
  • Bedding from small pets (gerbils, hamster etc) – will mostly be wood shavings.
  • Old plants (not weeds).

We have tried different methods of storing compost before it goes out to the heap and we have found our favourite is to have a large bowl and line with a sheet of newspaper and store on a shelf in the freezer. By doing this we have no issue with the bowl getting dirty, no smells and most importantly in the summer – no flies!

Reducing Food Waste

We meal plan our evening meals and our lunches tend to be leftovers or sandwiches/crackers. This means that we more what we need only and ensure we do not have fresh food that will not be used. When cooking food I do tend to cook a big batch in one go and then put the leftovers into individual pots ready to be eaten. I also stack these pots in the fridge with the oldest at the front so they are being eaten in the right order.

Its good to check your fridge every few days to see if anything needs using up. Sometimes I’ll move some containers of soup or chilli into the freezer so that I can have an omelette or salad for the next few days to use up the fresh things. Having a freezer is an amazing asset to avoid food waste!

If you don’t use a lot of bread, you can store your bread in the freezer and just remove a couple of slices at a time as needed.

Love Food Hate Waste have an amazing website full of information on how to avoid food waste. It really is worth checking out.

For the leftovers that are left on plates that cant be re-eaten there are a few options – a Bokashi bin, a Green Johanna bin or a Wormery. We haven’t taken this step yet but it is something we are considering for the future.

Give your surplus food away!

If you do have too much of something and you know you won’t use it – give it away. There are many options:

  • For dry food that is in date – give to your local food bank collection point.
  • For fresh food – offer to your family & friends.
  • For any food – offer on the Olio app for people in your local community.

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