24 million slices of bread are thrown out by households in Britain every day, and nearly one in five UK households admit to binning an entire loaf of bread before even opening it or slicing it, according to research conducted last year on behalf of the charity Love Food Hate Waste. Bread is one of our nation’s favourite foods, with almost half of adults eating it daily. However, it seems we are not eating anywhere near as much bread as we are buying, which is a food waste issue that needs to be addressed.
So, why do we throw our bread out? It has usually gone stale or mouldy. Today we are focusing on stale bread, and here are six suggestions of how you can use it up instead of throwing it in the bin.
1. Toast it
This is a simple solution, but one that many people don’t consider. Toast your stale bread and you’d never know it was stale in the first place. Add lashings of butter and your favourite toppings.
The Big Scoop campaign has kicked off this week; organised by Dog’s Trust and Keep Britain Tidy, this campaign aims to highlight how easy it is to scoop your dog’s poop, and appeals to dog owners to do just that. The Big Scoop will support local councils, and educate dog owners. A survey conducted recently in Cardiff showed that the general public dislike dog mess more than general litter or people smoking in public, making dog poo the nation’s biggest bugbear.
The UK is home to over 8 million canines, who produce over 1000 tonnes of waste between them every day – that weighs as much as 200 double-decker buses! Of course, this wouldn’t be a problem if all of the mess was scooped up, but this is sadly far from the truth.
Alex Jackson, who is Head of Campaigns at Dogs Trust, says:
“Dog poo is still one of the biggest complaints received by local councils every year, with 81,000 complaints received from members of the public last year alone, so it’s important that everyone is aware of how simple disposing of dog mess can be.”
Owners who don’t scoop their dog’s poop are breaking the law, and face an £80 fine if caught. The problem is ‘if caught’; many irresponsible dog owners who don’t scoop, commit the act when nobody is about, or by cover of darkness, knowing they will get away with it.
But why do we dislike dog poo so much? And why should we clear it up straight away from our streets, paths, and parks? We explore the reasons below.
This competition is now closed. The winner was Karen Parker of Stevenage.
September means Zero Waste Week, and this year’s theme is ‘Use it up!’ – with a focus on food waste, and how to reduce it. The week runs from 5th-9th September this year, and in celebration of this important campaign, we are running a Zero Waste competition throughout the month of September. Recycle Week and Waste Less Live More Week are also this month, so there’s lots to celebrate!
Win a Zero Waste lunch kit!
We have a wonderful zero waste lunch kit to give away. This kit includes a stainless steel two-tier lunchbox (which contains a small additional container), a glass water bottle, and a sustainable bamboo spork. This brilliant prize is worth £50.00, and could be yours if you enter our fun competition.
This zero waste lunch kit would be great for use at home, work, when travelling, for late summer picnics… there are so many possibilities!
Stop! Don’t throw those precious fruit and vegetable peelings in the bin. There’s always a further use for something, as you’ll see in our list of suggestions below. Let’s cut our food waste whilst enjoying new uses for our kitchen scraps. Peelings often contain more nutrients than the part we eat, so why not harness that goodness – whether that be on our skin, our hair, or elsewhere? And using the whole fruit or vegetable is much more environmentally friendly than binning it. Give these ideas a go:
1. Get rid of ants with cucumber peel
Ants don’t like cucumber peel, and will avoid it at all costs, so if you have an ant problem in your house, place generous strips of cucumber peel along their entry point. No toxic and expensive chemicals needed! The more bitter the cucumber, the better the result.
Food waste is a huge problem in the UK. We throw away around 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every single year, and over half of that could have been consumed – if not by ourselves, then by someone else. Not only is this extremely wasteful, it is costing the average family with kids around £60 per month, and if you’re throwing your food waste in your general waste bin, it’ll be heading straight to landfill. Food waste is terrible for the environment and our pockets.
So, how do we tackle this food waste culture? In April this year, the first community fridge was set up in the UK – in Frome, Somerset. After just three months, over 1000 food items had been shared through the use of the fridge, and therefore saved from the bin and landfill. Local restaurants and cafes have been using it too. Whilst food banks handle non-perishables, a fridge means fresh goods are able to be shared also, which covers a much broader selection of consumables, and deals with items that can’t be donated anywhere else. And unlike food banks, the contents of the fridge are accessible to anyone and everyone.
Cling film – or plastic wrap, as it is known elsewhere in the world – is a thin plastic film which clings to itself or other smooth surfaces, meaning it can handily cover food without the need for any extra devices or fasteners. Cling film can be made from a variety of plastics, however the original and most popular material is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Not only is there talk of this plastic being harmful to human health, it is also a single-use product, meaning it is ending up in landfill and in our oceans where it is causing harm to the environment and nature.
What is the threat to human health?
Plastic is made up of chemicals, and there has long been concern surrounding the leaching of these chemicals into the natural environment, and transference of them into our food and drink. This worry has led to the recent popularity of ‘BPA-free’ plastics for food and drink storage. However, the main problem with cling film occurs when it is heated up:
As time goes on, there is increasing chatter about, and hope placed upon, biodegradable plastics. In theory, they sound like a good idea on comparison to ‘regular’ plastics; a strong material which is used for its purpose, and then naturally breaks down over time, leaving no trace – or so we assume. These newer plastics aren’t quite the angelic material they claim to be though, as you’ll discover in this article.
What are Biodegradable Plastics?
Biodegradable plastics are the supposedly more eco-friendly versions of regular plastics, which are celebrated for the speed in which they are able to biodegrade. However, depending on what they are made from, these plastics require specific environmental factors to trigger the degradation process – for example: a heat of 50C, plenty of oxygen, or exposure to water.
It is a common misbelief that home freezers are in our kitchens only to store ready meals, oven chips, ice creams and ice cubes. In fact, if you check inside the majority of British freezers, I imagine that list won’t be far wrong. However, what most people don’t realise is that the majority of foods can be frozen. Not only is this convenient, time-saving and money-saving for us, but it also means we can freeze foods before they go off, therefore dramatically cutting our chances of producing food waste.
Armed with the information below, you can now happily save money by purchasing food whilst it’s on offer (hello, buy one get five free offers!), safe in the knowledge that you’re getting a great offer, and you won’t be wasting a scrap of it.
So, let’s get started on cutting food waste. What can be frozen?
When thinking about a Zero Waste lifestyle, we often consider what we do inside our homes but we should also consider our outdoor space, and what we can do in our garden to reduce or eliminate waste too. Below we have compiled a list of tips for cultivating a Zero Waste green space you and your family can enjoy for a lifetime.
With so much talk of the negative impacts of plastic on the environment these days, it’s easy to forget about paper; another product the world produces and wastes far too much of. Of course, paper is readily and easily recycled in the UK these days, but recycling should be the last option in every household, as it uses energy which otherwise wouldn’t be required. In this article I hope to inspire you with ideas for paper reuse, and get you to think about every piece of paper or card that enters your house. If you’d like some ideas for reducing your paper waste, so you have less to reuse, this article should help.
So, how can I reuse paper or card?
There are so many options available to you before you fling your paper straight in to your recycling bin. Give one a go today!