Save food money and the planet during March's food waste action week

It’s Food Waste Action Week from 1-7 March 2021. Whether you’re a student, member of staff or working as part of the University of Bristol’s catering team, we can all make small changes that will add up to a big difference for ourselves and our planet.

It’s Food Waste Action Week from 1-7 March 2021. Whether you’re a student, member of staff or working as part of the University of Bristol’s catering team, we can all make small changes that will add up to a big difference for ourselves and our planet.  

From keeping potato skin on chips, to saving perfectly good left-over food to make another meal, and tricks for keeping food fresh for longer, Food Waste Action Week will get us all thinking, talking and posting about how we can Love Food Hate Waste. The University of Bristol is getting behind the Week, but we need your help to make it a success. The University is planning to support the week by sharing blogs, a social media challenge and sharing how we commit to the reduction of food waste. 


Wasting food feeds climate change 

The production of every potato, chunk of cheese and slice of bread releases CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. The problem is made worse when that food ends up in the black bag bin. In fact, if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the US. Using your food waste recycling caddies at home and at work does help, but reducing wherever possible is even better! 

Food Waste: It’s Outdated 

  • At least one-third of all edible food produced across the world is never eaten – enough food to feed 2 billion people. That’s just over a quarter of the world’s population 

  • Global food waste generates 22 million tonnes of greenhouse gases – that’s four times more than all aeroplanes put together 

  • Everyday the equivalent of 20 million slices of bread are thrown away in UK homes. This could have fed breakfast to 10 million people. And, a year’s worth of wasted bread slices, laid end-to-end, could circle the Earth from pole-to-pole 28 times 

  • Around 3 million glasses of milk are chucked away in the UK each day. This means that, every year, 36,500 cows are producing milk that is going down the drain 

  • An average British family can save £720 a year if they stopped throwing their food in the bin 

  • Each year, UK households throw away 4.5 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten, and on top of this, there’s food being wasted when we eat out 

  • 81% of people in the UK are concerned about climate change, but only 37% think wasting 
    food is contributing to climate change. 

It's time to act and make more people aware of the impact of wasting food. 


We’re asking you to step up to the Food Waste Action Week challenge on Instagram during 1-7 March to try to reduce the edible food you throw away to as close to zero as possible. And you can win some brilliant prizes – all to be revealed on Monday 1st March. Check out our top 10 food saving tips below, and head to Love Food Hate Waste and follow @LFHW_UK for tonnes of ideas and inspiration. You can follow the #FoodWasteActionWeek to join in.  

How the University has helped tackle food waste so far 

Our catering outlets on campus in refectories, halls catering, Source cafes and bars have strived to save food waste. Here are the policies we follow to ensure our food is purchased and manages as sustainably as possible.   

We all have a role to play and are part of the solution, contributing to the UK’s goal of halving food waste by 2030. 


Keen to get started saving food? Check out Love Food Hate Waste’s top 10 tips for Food Waste Action Week! 

  1. It’s a date! ‘Use by’ is about safety – food should not be eaten after this date (even if it looks/smells fine). ‘Best before’ is about quality – although food won’t be at top quality after this date, it will still be safe to eat for some time.  

  1. Compleat. Always binning crusts and broccoli stems? Over two-thirds of the food we waste is perfectly edible, so using every edible bit of your food (‘compleating’) is essential. Try leaving the skin on when you make mashed potato – this will save you time as well! 

  1. Chill the fridge out. The average fridge temperature in UK homes is nearly 7°C, but foods will last longer if they are kept at under 5°C. Not sure how to adjust your fridge temperature? Love Food Hate Waste can help.  

  1. Perfect portions. Hands up who has ever found themselves with far too much rice or pasta? It’s easy to do, but there are simple ways to cook the perfect amount. For example, a mug filled with dry rice will cook enough for four adults. 

  1. Snap a shelfie. If you’re not a fan of shopping lists, take a picture of your fridge/cupboard shelves before you head to the shops instead. This will stop you from buying something you’ve already got at home.  

  1. Savvy storage. Most fruit and veg will stay fresher for longer in the fridge. The key exceptions are bananas and pineapple (keep these on the counter), and onions and potatoes (which should be kept in a cool, dark, dry place – like a cupboard!). Not sure where something should be stored? Try our Food Storage A–Z

  1. Freeze up to the ‘use by’ date. All foods with a ‘use by’ date, including meat, can be frozen right up to this date. This is especially helpful if your plans change at the last minute – before you order an emergency takeaway, check your fridge for anything that can be frozen for another day. 

  1. Ice-cube tray – the freezer hero. Too much milk, not enough time? Pour your remaining milk into ice-cube trays and freeze – this is the perfect amount for a brew. You can use ice-cube trays to freeze fresh herbs, too. Chop them up, pop them in the tray, and top up with oil, and then you have easy portions to add to the pan next time you’re cooking. 

  1. Use your loaf. Bread is another food that freezes beautifully. Put your sliced loaf in the freezer, and then you can pick out a slice at a time and toast straight from frozen. Extra tip: tap the loaf on the counter before you freeze it to stop the slices sticking together. 

  1. Unidentified Frozen Objects. Before you freeze your leftovers, label the bag/container telling you what’s inside and when you froze it.  

We hope we have given you some inspiration for Food Waste Action Week – simple everyday things we can all do to reduce food waste. 

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