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If there’s good to be found in recent times, it’s that across the UK, we’ve wasted a third less food than we usually would.

With over 4.5 million tonnes of edible food wasted from UK homes every year, it’s not just our bank accounts that are affected by food waste – it’s our planet too. The process of growing, making, distributing, storing and cooking our food uses loads of energy, fuel and water and generates 30% of the world’s CO₂ greenhouse gas levels.

So, it’s important to keep as much food out of the bin as possible, and to start wasting less and saving more – both money and the environment.

Six easy ways to reduce food waste at home

  1. Before you head to the shops, check what’s in your cupboards, fridge and freezer. Make a list or snap a “shelfie” so you know what you have at home.
  2. Turn your fridge temperature down to between 0 and 5°C to keep food fresher for longer.
  3. Not got around to eating that meal you were sure to enjoy this week? Pop it in the freezer. You can freeze more than you think! Check out the Love Food Hate Waste A-Z of Food Storage for help with all your freezing questions.
  4. Defrost like a boss! Once you know what’s in the freezer, it’s just about a little bit of forward planning to save money and a last-minute dash to the shops.
  5. If you stocked up on pasta, rice, and other cupboard essentials at the start of the first lockdown, now’s the time for them to shine. Not sure how much rice or pasta a person actually needs? Find the answer with the Love Food Hate Waste Portion Planner.
  6. Get creative with your kitchen creations and find ingredient swaps, recipe ideas and leftover hacks on the Love Food Hate Waste website.

If you’re in the food waste trial area, you can read more about what you can put in your caddies and roads taking part in the trial over on the Food Waste Trial webpage.

Confused about labels?

Packaging labels can help you waste less food, but they can be confusing. Here are a few label tips below to get the most out of your food:

  1. Most retailers have removed the ‘display until’ dates so that the important ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ are easier to see.
    1. Display until date – this is for shop workers and lets them know when to remove items from the shelves
    2. Best before date – relates to the quality/taste of the product. It is still safe to eat, but may not be at its best past the date
    3. Use by date – it is not safe to eat past this date
  2. Check out the packet for storage advice (for example, most fresh produce last longer if kept in the fridge).
  3. If food is not eaten when you reach the ‘use by’ date, pop it in the freezer so you can use it later.
  4. Always remember to check our recycling page to see if the packaging can be recycled from your home recycling bin/box in Portsmouth. Glass can be taken to one of many bring banks around the city. Find your nearest glass recycling bank here.