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Reducing your food waste: how to save money while helping the environment and people in need

| NEWS

According to the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment and Energy, Australian households throw out more than $8 billion in food waste each year, or approximately 361 kilos of food per person per year!

Not only is this unused food costing us money, the food we are sending to landfill is also estimated to release 6.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. This figure doesn’t even begin to factor in the environmental impact of producing wasted food, nor does it factor in the impact of industry waste. 

Fortunately for industry waste, our community partner Foodbank WA is collecting surplus food from the country’s farmers, manufacturers and retailers. This food, whether it be a product that was incorrectly labelled, or too close to its best before date, is collected by Foodbank WA to give it a new purpose, that is, to feed people that would otherwise go hungry. 

While our partner Foodbank WA is helping to reduce food waste within the food industry, there are ways we can reduce our own household food waste. Here are our five top tips to reduce your food waste and save your money:

Shop smart: plan your meals, take stock of what you already have (and what’s about to expire) and write a grocery list before you go to the shops. 

Practice first in first out: Ever opened a new wheel of cheese to discover you had an old one about to expire? Try practicing first in first out by moving older produce or items close to expiry to the front of your fridge or pantry and put new products at the back. This way you can make sure you’re using up old products first! 

Store products better: Bread regularly going mouldy, crackers going stale, or sick of eating the same leftovers? Take just a few minutes out of your day to make sure your food is properly stored. Put leftover meals and freezable items in the freezer to extend their shelf life and store items in good quality air tight containers to prevent them from going stale. This way you’re not throwing out leftovers (and your money) if you happen to go out for a spontaneous dinner!

Use your leftovers: Freeze your leftovers for days when you don't feel like cooking, take them for lunch the next day, or use your left overs to create a new dish. We even had Chef Iain Lawless create a set of recipes last year to help you create new and flavoursome dishes using your leftovers. Click here for the recipes! 

Food drives: Why not get your school, club or community together for a food drive to get rid of those unused (but still edible) items and give to those in need? Click here to find out how you can hold a food drive for Foodbank WA.

References: 

http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/national-waste-policy/food-waste

https://www.foodbankwa.org.au/about-us/how-we-work/the-environment/ 

https://www.foodbank.org.au/want-to-help/donate-food/food-drives/