Reducing food waste
Food waste is a major issue. Research has found that almost a quarter of the average general waste bin in Hertfordshire is wasted food. Most of this food waste is edible - not peelings and eggshells, but food that could have been eaten if it was managed differently. By reducing the amount of food thrown away, each household could save up to £720 a year, the equivalent of almost £60 per month.
As well as the cost saving, reducing food waste is key to tackling climate change. When we waste food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package that food. Plus, if food goes to landfill and rots, it produces methane - a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming.
We think both food and money are #WorthSaving. This is why we are supporting the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership’s goal to reduce the amount of food waste found in our general waste bins by 20 per cent by 2025, compared to 2020 levels.
Visit the Hertfordshire WasteAware website to find out more about the #WorthSaving campaign, sign up to the 5-week newsletter and have chances to win prizes.
What is being wasted?
The top five most wasted foods are:
- Fresh fruit
- Meat and fish
- Bread and bakery products
- Dairy produce
- Rice and pasta
Four steps to save
Follow the four steps below to save food and money by tweaking your existing habits in small ways.
- Plan - Check your fridge and cupboards before making a shopping list and plan your week's meals in advance.
- Shop - Buy what you need. Stick to your shopping list and resist the multi-buy bargains if you won't eat it all. It's not a bargain if it goes in the bin.
- Store - Store in the best way. Discover the best way to store different foods by using Love Food Hate Waste's Food Storage A-Z.
- Eat - Eat what you have. Use a portion planner to cook the right sized meals and use up leftovers by using a recipe finder.
Spread the #WorthSaving message
Leaflets and posters are available to download from the #WorthSaving web page. We can also provide a short talk, interactive sessions and event stall content to schools and community groups wishing to find out more about how to save food and money.
Got an event coming up that you’d like us to attend with a stall? Email email@example.com to arrange a visit or request resources.
Community Fridges in Dacorum
Community Fridges are communal spaces where perishable food can be shared rather than wasted. We have two Community Fridges in Dacorum where food is given out free of charge every week. See below for more details.
The food is sourced from a range of shops around Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead that can no longer be sold, but is still good to eat.
Open Door Community Fridge
When: 10am to Midday, every Tuesday
Where: Outside the front of Open Door, 360-364 High Street, Berkhamsted, HP4 1HU
Highfield Community Centre
When: 11am to Midday, every Wednesday and Saturday
Where: Highfield Community Centre, Fletcher Way, Hemel Hempstead HP2 5SB
Your food waste tips
Here are some food waste tips shared with us by residents from across the borough. Got one that isn't listed? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Food waste tip
|I make veg last longer in the fridge by popping them individually into green fresh bags from Lakeland. The bags can be reused lots of times.
|I have a real challenge with fallen apples in my garden. I have managed to find lots of lovely recipes for chutney, apple and apricot jam and apple and pear cake.
|I use leftover bread to make bread crumbs for treacle tarts! Those not used I put on a tray, let them brown in the oven for 5 minutes then use them as croutons on a slow-pot or soup.
|Check the fridge frequently in case something has been pushed to the back. Label and freeze small quantities of leftovers, and if a pack of fresh food has more portions than required, label and freeze the excess.
|Don’t go food shopping when you're hungry! You will buy more than you need.
|Check your fridge is below five degrees centigrade. Also, freeze anything you think you won't eat before the use-by date, such as bread.
|If you cook too much of something, such as rice, save it for the next night and use any leftover veggies in the fridge. It makes an amazing fried rice dish.
|Coffee grounds make great fertiliser, so instead of throwing them away use them to keep your plants looking lush.
|Make a list and plan your meals. Get creative in the kitchen, think outside the box and combine leftovers for a spontaneous meal. For fruit and veg - if it’s going a bit funny then juice it.
Love Food Hate Waste
Love Food Hate Waste is a national campaign providing handy tips, advice and recipes for leftovers to help everyone waste less food. Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for more information.