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Scotland’s Climate Week – Reducing waste in the kitchen

3 mins read

This week (September 26 to October 3) marks Scotland’s Climate Week. The event aims to raise awareness about climate change and encourage people to do their bit for the environment. Food waste is a big contributor – about a third of all our food is chucked out each year.

Here are a few easy tips to help your household cut down and save some money in the process.

Only buy what you need

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But those BOGOF offers can be tempting. It’s worth thinking twice about whether you’ll actually eat two punnets of grapes before they go mouldy. Try making a list before you hit the shops and stick to it.

Keep your leftovers

We’ve all been there: you have a little food left on your plate and you want to just bin it. However, keeping your leftovers isn’t just good for the environment, it’s also a great way to save money.  Have some meat left over from a roast or stir fry? Put it in the fridge and use it in a salad the next day. Too much mashed potatoes? Make tattie scones to go along with your breakfast. The possibilities are endless and delicious!

crop woman cleaning food waste in kitchen
Keep your vegetable scraps to make stock. Image credit: Sarah Chai on Pexels.com

Don’t rely on dates

Dates on food can be confusing and most products will still be okay to eat afterwards. ‘Best before’ means just that: the food will be at its best quality before the date stated. After the ‘best before’ date, it will still be okay to eat, there will just be some changes in texture or taste. ‘Use by’ is a bit trickier. Eating after the date can increase risks of food poisoning. Instead of throwing out products as soon as the date passes, use your senses. Can you see any mould or discolouration? Does it smell weird?  If not, it’s most likely still okay to eat.

Utilise your freezer

Freezing food is a great way to slow down the decomposition process and make your products last longer. Buying produce that’s already frozen, such as fruit and veg, can really help reduce your waste and also save you money, as it’s often cheaper than buying fresh.

Compost and recycle

When food waste ends up in landfill (AKA when you put it in your general waste bin) it releases methane gas for years. Methane is a greenhouse gas so it directly influences climate change. Instead of binning food in general waste, find out if your local authority recycles food waste (Stirling Council does). You could also consider making a compost bin or give your food scraps to someone who does.

Featured Image Credit: Pexels.com

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Film, media and journalism student. I like writing about my inability to eat gluten.

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