Sancho’s is the home of sustainable fashion and ethical lifestyle products. Our Black woman owned business is based in Exeter, UK where we believe in doing better, providing sustainable and affordable clothing options. Through activism and spreading awareness, we are working towards a kinder world. Shop our Transparent Pricing collection here, our Organic Cotton Lounge Wear Collection here and read more About Us here.
Reducing our consumption and waste is something that we should all be incorporating into every aspect of our lives, from our use of packaging, to the way we shop. However, an important every-day aspect of our lives that is not given the same amount of attention in regard to waste, is our food consumption. When eating or cooking a meal, we not only produce food waste when preparing a meal, due to vegetable skins etc, but also by not finishing our meals or throwing away our left overs.
In the UK, £13 billion worth of food waste was thrown away rather than being eaten in 2015. It is not only individual consumers who are responsible for producing food waste, as it is also worth drawing attention to the food waste that supermarkets produce. Every year, around 100,000 tonnes of uneaten and edible food from the UK’s retail and food manufacturing sector is wasted – equivalent to 250 million meals going uneaten. These stats are worsened by the fact that the number of UK adults who can’t afford to buy food has doubled in the past 15 years. Of course, by raising awareness of the issue of food waste that is worsening in the UK, we can encourage UK supermarkets to reduce their food waste. But on a smaller level, improving our own approach towards food waste can make a huge difference.
Some of the benefits that come from reducing our food waste include saving money by buying less food, reducing methane emissions from landfills, and conserving energy and resources by reducing the need to grow, manufacture, transport and sell food. Here are 4 of our best tips for reducing our food waste at home, by incorporating these processes into our everyday life.
1) Zero-Waste Recipes
Zero-Waste Recipes are an easy way to reduce your food waste without breaking the bank. Chef Max La Manna is known as the ‘Zero-Waste Chef’ and not only are his recipes plant based, which is an excellent way to reduce carbon emissions and create a sustainable lifestyle through your diet, but his recipes also produce as little food waste as possible. Max’s recipes also use accessible and affordable ingredients, meaning anyone and everyone can live a plant-based, zero-waste lifestyle through their diet! Max regularly posts quick and easy recipes on his Instagram to his 776k followers, but his cookbook, ‘More Plants Less Waste’, features all his best recipes in one easy and useful cookbook. Some of our favourite recipes from Max are:
2) Don’t Over-Buy
One of the most obvious things that leads towards food waste is over-buying food. Whether this produces food waste due to the food going out of date, or due to too much food being bought and thus producing too much food to be kept as left-overs. Consider how many people you are buying food for and decide how many meals this will need to produce. Plan ahead of time! There are even weekly meal planners you can buy to make this easier. Think about if each meal will produce left-overs and if you can freeze them or eat them the same week! Also give yourself a budget and a list to stick to. This will mean that you’re only buying what you need rather than what you want as you walk around the supermarket. Also consider how much food you usually waste. Do you predominantly waste fresh fruit and veg? In that case, consider cutting down on the amount of fresh fruit and veg you buy, or cook recipes such as curries and stews that make the most of fresh produce. Frozen produce is also a great way to include fruit and veg in a meal without having to worry about them going out of date! There are so many ways to shop responsibly in order to reduce your future food-waste when you’re at home.
3) Utilise Your Freezer!
One celebrity chef who has spoken in support of the freezer is Jamie Oliver, as he calls it “the gift that keeps on giving.”Whether you use frozen ingredients or freeze your left-overs, the freezer is always something that can be used to reduce your food waste. As we’ve already mentioned, frozen fruit and veg is amazing to incorporate into meals without having to buy fresh produce. Frozen fruit can be used in smoothies, porridge, desserts, and frozen veg can be used in curries, stews or anything really! They’re an amazing and versatile way to include your 5-a-day into your meal without producing any extra food waste. There are also plenty of freezable recipes that can be made to reduce your food-waste. Some of Jamie Oliver’s vegetarian freezer-friendly meals include:
4) Zero-Waste Products
There are lots of amazing products that can be used to reduce your food waste! The best thing about these products is their longevity, because they can be re-used for years and years and maintain their amazing quality. At Sancho’s, we love the Elephant Box’s range of re-usable food boxes. As well as using these boxes as lunch boxes, they’re also an amazing re-usable alternative to cling film or tin foil and they don’t produce any extra waste in the process! Use the Original Elephant Box or the Large Screw Top Cannister to store any of your left-overs and to reduce your food waste. The Elephant Boxes are also excellent for picnics, and we love to take our Tartan Blanket Co. blankets with us to keep us warm and stylish. There are so many different colours to choose from on the Sancho’s site, but the Rainbow Check blanket is great if you can’t decide on one colour. Another amazing reusable zero-waste product that we sell at Sancho’s is Elephant Box’s Reusable Cloth Bags. You can use these when shopping to hold your fresh fruit and veg, or you can use them when shopping at zero-waste shops to hold your pasta, grains, coffee beans etc. They’re an amazing light-weight and sustainable alternative to plastic bags, and to buying food in disposable bags.
Check out Sancho’s Zero-Waste collection here.
Check out the Elephant Box range at Sancho’s here.
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Written by Megan Finch