The Student Guide To Food Waste Action Week
Table of Contents
Food Waste Action Week is a week-long event taking place between the 6th to the 12th March 2023.
This year is the third year the annual event has taken place, with the 2023 theme being ‘Win. Don’t Bin’ to encourage people to waste less and save more.
Food waste is a huge issue not only within the UK but throughout the world.
Studies suggest that between 33-50% of all food produced globally is never eaten.
Food Waste Action Week helps to raise awareness on this critical issue and brings the nation together to inspire positive change.
During Food Waste Action Week, there are various activities students can get involved with, which we’ve listed within our blog post!
Why Is Food Waste Action Week Important?
In the UK, more than 3 million tonnes of foods are wasted across the food industry each year, despite being good-to-eat.
On the other hand, there are currently 4.2 million people still living in poverty due to food shortages, which have been made even worse due to the cost of living crisis.
By reducing food waste and redistributing it, we can help to ensure that everyone in society has access to the food they need.
When food is wasted, it means that the resources used in producing, transporting, and storing it were wasted, and the surplus food then ends up in landfills.
Food waste action is important as it helps to conserve natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
Problems with food waste are not limited to one region or country either, unfortunately it is a problem which is impacting the entire world.
In addition, households that throw away food are wasting money that they spend on grocery shopping, which means food waste action should be a priority!
It’s not just organisations and the government who can take action to reduce food waste and help to create a more sustainable society, but everyday people too.
It’s essential we as a society come together to help tackle the issues of food waste in the UK, not just during Food Waste Action Week, but beyond.
How To Get Involved
Are you wanting to reduce your carbon footprint and help tackle the issues associated with food wastage?
There are tons of ways to get involved with Food Waste Action Week 2023 whilst at university, carry on reading to find out!
1. Look Beyond Best Before Dates
Food Waste Action Week is a great opportunity to get involved and help reduce your own food waste within your student accommodation.
One of the best ways you can waste less and save more is by looking beyond the best before dates.
Best before dates mean that the food is still safe to eat as long as it is not damaged, deteriorated or perished.
There’s no reason to bin food which goes past this date, as it’s still safe to eat, this just refers to its quality.
Although, foods past their “use by date” are considered not safe to eat.
We’d suggest paying attention to best before dates and use by dates.
You can use up, cook or freeze foods that are approaching their use-by date first!
2. Plan Your Meals
Reducing food waste is an important step towards a more sustainable life whilst at university, and one way you can do this is by planning your meals in advance.
Creating a meal planner to work out what you’ll be cooking up throughout the week means you can save yourself time, hassle and reduce food waste.
You can also create a weekly plan with those that you live with to take it in turns to cook, this way less food is wasted.
Before heading off to do your grocery shop, make a shopping list so you only buy food which you actually need, rather than being left with excess food which you end up throwing out.
It’s important to check what you’ve already got in your cupboards and fridge prior to hitting the shops, as you could end up with items you don’t even need.
We’d also suggest not going shopping when you’re hungry as you’re more likely to buy things you don’t actually need – resist the temptation!
3. Store Food Properly
Store your food at home properly as this can help to prolong its shelf life and make your grocery items stay fresh for longer.
You can make the food you’re buying, go further by sealing food properly and storing it in the right conditions.
Such as, you should store your bread at room temperature in either a breadbin or a paper bag rather than in the fridge.
If you’re someone who regularly eats a lot of bread, you could even freeze half the loaf so it doesn’t go mouldy before you’ve finished it.
There are certain foods which shouldn’t be stored in the fridge like avocados, tomatoes and avocados, they’re better left at room temperature.
Another great way to store your food is by placing any fresh items that are ‘use-by’ date, all in one place in your fridge so it reminds you to use them first.
4. Make Use Of Leftovers
You can reduce your food waste whilst at university by making use of leftovers, whether it’s using leftover food to create new meals, or freezing them for future use.
Why not get creative with your leftovers and see what recipes you can come up with?
You can easily turn your dinner from the night before into lunch or add something else with it to make it go further.
For example, you could transform the leftover veggies you had cooked from last night’s dinner and make a quick and easy stir fry.
When making use of your leftovers, try to use clear Tupperware and freezer bags which can then be labelled and dated.
Quite often we forget about the leftovers in the fridge or don’t realise how long they’ve been in there, if you don’t want to mark them with a date you could keep a note in your phone!
Not only can making use of leftovers reduce your food waste but you can also save money by using the food you’ve already cooked for another meal.
5. Donate Food
Did you know 70% of all wasted food in the UK comes from our homes? Donating any leftover food is a great way to reduce how much food you waste and help those in need.
If you have excess food that you’re not going to use, instead of chucking it in the bin you could consider donating it to food banks, soup kitchens or shelters within your local area.
If you’re really wanting to make a difference in your community, many of these places accept volunteers to help provide emergency food to those in crisis too.
You can even donate unused and non-perishable food items within supermarket collection points.
Before doing this, you could also ask your flatmates if they want any of the food items which you’re not going to use.
6. Use Social Media
Food waste is a much bigger problem than most people realise but, you can help to create a change and inspire people to make more conscious decisions regarding the food they buy and throw away.
Get involved with Food Waste Action Week by sharing relevant content on social media, from easy recipes for others to follow, tips for people to reduce their food waste as well as how to reuse ingredients.
Use the hashtag #FoodWasteActionWeek on social media to spread the word about this annual event, you never know, your followers may not be in the loop!
To mark Food Waste Action Week, the UK’s biggest annual food waste reduction campaign, reduce how much food you throw away and raise awareness for this important issue!
If you’ve got any tips for reducing food waste at home, make sure to let us know @prestigestudentliving.
Wondering how you can save money during the cost of living crisis? We have just the post for you with our guide for students.