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5 ways to stop wasting food

Our climate change officer shares her top tips on reducing your food waste to help tackle climate change and save you money.

How often do you look in the fridge and find something that went out of date a few days ago, and it ends up in the bin?

I’ll admit, I do it all the time and I never used to think twice about it. That is, until now, because I learnt that food waste has a huge impact on climate change.

When you throw away your mouldy bread, or gone off fruit, this usually goes straight to landfill, where it slowly decomposes and releases methane, which is one of the main greenhouse gases causing climate change.  

Currently a third of all the world’s food goes to waste. That’s like buying three bananas each week and throwing one of them into the bin every single time.

Think about the land, the water and the energy that goes into growing those bananas, then packaging and shipping them over to the UK, before they even reach your door. All of the emissions involved in that process goes to waste when we throw them away.

According to the UN, if food waste were a country, it would have the third biggest carbon footprint behind the US and China! Eating everything you buy will make a big impact on your carbon footprint, as well as saving you money that you would have otherwise thrown straight in the bin.

Here are our top five tips on how to reduce your food waste:

  1. Make a list! It’s so easy to get distracted when you go food shopping so try to make a plan of what you want to eat for the week, then add it to a list before you head to the shops so you only come away with what you needed. You’ll probably save some money too!
  2. Check the cupboards before you head out. I do this one so often – buy something from the supermarket when I already had some at home! It’s ok for pantry ingredients, but for perishable food it leads to so much going to waste.
  3. Keep a hold of those leftovers! My colleagues always think I make the most delicious lunches for myself, but in reality, it’s just my leftovers from the previous night’s tea! If you’ve got a mix of random leftovers, have a look through Love Food Hate Waste’s leftover recipe guide, which has lots of ideas for all those awkward foods we just don’t know what to do with.
  4. Make the most of your freezer. Did you know you can freeze bananas? Using your freezer properly not only saves food from going to waste, but it can also save you time and money. Next time you’re chopping onions or peppers for dinner, add a few to your freezer stash to dip into for a quick meal on those hectic days. Found a bargain in the reduced aisle that you won’t use up in time? Add it to the freezer for another day. The Full Freezer is a fantastic resource for advice on what foods can be frozen and how to use them again when you’re ready.
  5. Sometimes life just gets on top of us and you’re going to waste food. If that’s the case, try to at least buy locally and in season. You’ll be supporting local farmers, who’ve grown your food just down the road, for you to enjoy seasonal fruit and veg whilst it’s at its freshest and cheapest. We all know that strawberries grown and eaten in summer are truly the best! Food artificially grown in huge greenhouses throughout the year and flown in from other countries creates an enormous amount of carbon emissions. Use a seasonal food calendar to help decide what meals you want to make this season and, next time you’re out shopping, check the label on your fruit and veg to see where it’s been transported from, and support British farmers where you can.

To learn more about how you can help tackle climate change and what action Wyre Council are taking, visit           

Published: 17th June 2022