Make #NotWasting a daily practice

At the pace most of us live, eating on the go and doing things on the run, it’s easy to fall into the trap of creating waste with not so much as a second thought. Making it easier to create non-wasteful habits, UNEP has launched its #NotWasting campaign. UNEP is The United Nations Environment Programme (one of the world’s leading authorities on environmental matters) and is set to challenge the way people think about wasting food.

A bag or two of rubbish per household per week may seem like an insignificant amount — but, each year, one third of the food we eat is wasted. This means around 1.3 billion tonnes of edible food are discarded worldwide every 12 months. Some of the wastage occurs during harvest, some occurs in transit or when imperfect-looking produce is rejected by supermarkets, while much is wasted by the consumer. Meanwhile, millions of people do not have enough food to eat each day.

As consumers, there are plenty of things we can do to make #NotWasting a daily practice:

  • Home composting: According to UNEP, by composting what might ordinarily end up as food waste in your bin, you can potentially divert up to 150kg of food waste per year.
  • Shopping locally: Shopping locally, particularly from markets, keeps food from travelling unnecessary distances to get to your plate and means less food is wasted in transit or when it’s rejected from supermarkets.
  • Keep things for longer: ‘Best before’ dates are different to ‘use by’ dates, and UNEP suggests making use of food for longer, rather than tossing something out as soon as its ‘best before’ ticks over. Similarly, old fruit and vegetables can be used in cooking rather than discarded.

You can share your daily #NotWasting practices by using the campaign hashtag. And see how other people are #NotWasting too.

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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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Read about how Jenny Costa from Rubies in the Rubble is using would-be-wasted fruit and vegetables to create chutneys and jams.