Give food waste the chop and save up to £720 a year

NewsUpdated: 19 September 2023Environment and Climate Emergency

A campaign has been launched across Hertfordshire urging residents to think twice about throwing away edible food, which could save households hundreds of pounds a year.

Research in Hertfordshire shows up to 70% of the food we throw away could have been eaten. Reducing the amount of food we throw away can save each household up to £720 a year and reduce up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of the #WorthSaving campaign, which has been trialled in Three Rivers district, residents can follow 4 Steps to Save and receive hints and tips on making the most of their food by subscribing to a five-week newsletter, which gives you entry into a prize draw to win a cooking experience and meal out, paid for by the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership. You can find more information and T&Cs here.

The 4 Steps to Save is an easy-to-follow guide that helps households reduce food waste and save money by tweaking their existing habits in small ways. Like sticking to your shopping list, eating your leftovers and freezing excess food.

A number of events that were part of a campaign trialled across Three Rivers from October 2022 to April 2023 resulted in a 4% decrease in avoidable food waste in the properties analysed.

The district would see a reduction of over five tonnes (5,300kg) of food waste if this was scaled up to over 38,380 households, resulting in a massive cost saving for residents and a significant reduction of carbon emissions.

Cllr Jon Tankard, Lead Member for Environmental Services, Climate Change and Sustainability, said: "At a time when household budgets are being stretched by rising costs of living, including the increasing costs of food, it’s more important than ever to reduce the food we throw away. On top of rising living costs, we continue to receive stark warnings and local examples of what the climate crisis will mean for us all. Reducing your food waste is a really simple, cost saving way to live more sustainably and help us reach out net-zero targets.”

Follow WasteAware’s simple 4 Steps to Save on the #WorthSaving website to find lots of simple tips to reduce edible food waste at home. Save food and save money. It’s all #WorthSaving.

4 Steps To Save

Plan – check what you have

  • Stock check
  • Plan your meals
  • Write a shopping list

Shop – buy what you need

  • Avoid impulse buys
  • Stick to your list
  • Don’t shop when you’re hungry
  • Substitutes - food item swaps when a store doesn’t have the item      you need for a recipe

Store – in the best way

  • Dates and labels
  • How to correctly store food (right place for each food item)
  • Fridge / freezer temp
  • How to safely freeze and defrost food

Eat – what you have

  • Choose to eat / cook with ripe food first
  • Portion sizes
  • Freeze excess food for later
  • Eat your leftovers
  • Use-up night
  • Recipes for spare ingredients
  • Batch cooking

PHOTO CAPTION: (From left) Cllr Jon Tankard, Lead Member for Environmental Services, Climate Change and Sustainability, and Cllr Paul Rainbow, Lead Member for Transport.