• The Sustainable Student | Guest Author

don't be a waste man.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization calculated that if food waste was a country it would be the third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2011.

Just let that sink in, wasted food has a higher climate impact than the whole of India! WRAP, the UK food waste watchdog, stated in their January 2020 report that by weight, household food waste makes up 70% of the UK’s total post-farm-gate food waste.

Students and people who live alone are the highest per person wasters of food due to the slower turnover of perishable goods and difficulties in portioning food. This also means that we have the greatest opportunity to make a positive impact and make a small but important contribution to solving the climate challenge of our generation.

use the bin.

One of the simplest and most effective ways that you can take part is to make sure you’re using your food waste bin as much as possible. Food in a food waste bin will be taken to a waste treatment plant where it will be processed to produce biofuels that can be used to generate electricity or even fuel a car! Alternatively, if thrown into general waste it will decompose in a landfill site and produce harmful methane gas.

get freezing.

By freezing your food, you preserve it for much longer as well as providing your future self with a welcome surprise when rediscovering the rest of that banana bread you baked to impress your Tinder date. One of the most commonly wasted products is bread. Lots of people, especially those living by themselves, don’t manage to get through a whole loaf before a mould infestation threatens to cause a biohazard in your cupboard. If you place your bread in the freezer as soon as you get back from the shop you can retrieve it slice by slice and defrost in the toaster as and when you need it.

buy together.

Group buying is another great life hack to save you money as well as keeping your food waste conscience clear. Buying your perishable essentials such as milk and bread as a group means you can save by buying in bulk and have fresher produce in stock. If someone's not pulling their weight with the purchases, use a bill-splitting app to keep track.

get creative.

Lastly, getting creative with leftovers stops you from throwing away perfectly good food and leaves a little snack for the next day. I somehow always manage to overcook rice and pasta and therefore have developed a range of yummy pasta salad and egg fried rice recipes to make sure nothing ends up in the bin.

Stay sustainable.

The Sustainable Student


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