Zero Waste Week

Zero Waste Week 2020

We’re half way through this year’s Zero Waste Week which runs from the 7th to 11th September. Did you know Zero Waste Week is in it’s 13th year!

Rachelle Strauss has promoted the zero-waste message for over ten years. And, after reading one of my Blogs on “How to Reduce Plastic” Rachelle asked if I would like to be an Ambassador Blogger for this year’s Zero Waste Week. 

I didn’t hesitate, and I’m pleased to say I’m now in my 3rd year as an Ambassador and I’m loving to help spread the message.

What is Zero Waste Week?

Zero Waste Week is a grassroots campaign raising awareness of the environmental impact of waste and empowering participants to reduce waste.

Launched in 2008, the campaign is conducted almost exclusively online via this website, e-newsletters and social media.

Whilst Zero Waste Week formally runs for one week in September, regular newsletters and fresh blog content is sent out throughout the year. The friendly online community share practical experiences and suggestions about waste avoidance via social media to keep the discussion and learning process going. You can join the active Facebook Group called Zero waste Heroes

Zero Waste Week

Zero Waste Week 2020 Theme

This year’s Zero Waste Week’s focus is on Food Waste.

The statistics for food waste in the UK are staggering.

  • The average UK household throws away 22% of their weekly food shop which adds up to £700 per year!
  • Every day in the UK we throw away
    • 24 million slices of bread
    • 6 million potatoes
    • 4 million bananas

There are some simple ways that you can start reducing food waste:

  • Only buy food you need, check what you already have before shopping.
  • Find recipes that will help you make the most of leftovers – two of my favourites are bubble and squeak and banana bread !
  • Shop locally and seasonally to reduce air miles and unnecessary packaging. 
  • For your unavoidable food waste, look at ways of composting or use a local authority kerbside collection.

If you are looking for tips on what you can do then check out my Blog post Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste

Day 1 Zero Waste Week - 7th September

Day 1 Challenge was all about creating an “Eat me first” shelf in the fridge.

An Eat Me First shelf is a  great way to make sure that food that is getting near it’s Best Before or Use By date doesn’t get lost at the back of the fridge.

Here’s how My Zero Waste does it:

You pick one shelf – ideally the one at eye level of the biggest fridge raiders in your household. Your Leftovers, your small portions that remain after meal prep, everything in a open packet, or fruit and veg that needs eating up soon goes onto that shelf. Every other shelf is strictly out of bounds to anyone not making a full meal for the family.

Rustling up a quick lunch, dinner for one or a keep-me-going snack all has to come from the Eat Me First shelf and nowhere else unless there is absolutely nothing on that shelf (very unlikely).

This is the very best way we’ve found to avoid the slimy ham, the hard cheese (that isn’t actually Parmesan), the yogurt with a blue fur coat, the hot cross bun that now resembles a rock cake or the scotch pancake that could well serve as a frisbee.

Do you have a “Eat Me First” shelf in your fridge?

Zero Waste Week

day 2 zero waste week - 8th September

Day 2 of Challenge was all about shopping. When you’re shopping do you consider where and how your food is produced?

Think LOAF

  • L is for Local – Locally sourced ingredients – this cuts down on food miles and also means that you are going seasonal too.
  • O which is for Organic- Buying organic when you can helps to support good farming practices, but not all farmers adhering to good practice can afford to have their produce labelled as Organic.
  • A is for Avoiding intensive farming – If you can’t go local and or organic, then avoid factory farming and support farms who care for the environment and farming in sustainable ways.
  • F is for Fairtrade – Fairtrade is for those items that you can’t source locally ever as they just don’t grown in your climate.

We’re very lucky that we have a few good local Farm Shops nearby that we use.

Zero Waste Week

day 3 zero waste week - 9th September

Day 3’s Challenge is about sharing your tips for food storage.

So much food is wasted because it’s not stored correctly, here are some simple tips to help store food correctly:

  1. Fridge temperature – set your fridge at the correct temperature.  Keep your fridge between 1-5°C – this helps you get the best from your food. If your fridge doesn’t indicate actual temperature, think about investing in a fridge thermometer.
  2. Store Food Correctly – Bread should be kept in a cool dark place like a bread bin or in a linen bag in a cupboard), bananas, pineapples, potatoes and onions should never be put in the fridge.
  3. Keep your vegetables fresh – Keep the stems of vegetables such as broccoli, celery and asparagus in water to help them stay fresh and crisp.
  4. Freeze fruit and veg – Freeze vegetables fresh fruit and veg that you can’t use in time.  Some fruit and veg will lose their texture when frozen but they will be fine pureed or stewed. 

For more helpful tips check out the Zero Waste Week Day 3 page.

Zero Waste Week

There are still two more days of  Zero Waste Week to go so if you want to find out about days 4 and 5 then pop over to my Instagram account Thoroughly Modern Grandma 

And, if you take part in any of the challenges I’d love to hear how you found them.

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