Every month Produced in Kent is taking a closer look at the different ways to adopt a more sustainable attitude to food and how sharing tips to encourage residents of Kent to begin to change the way they shop, handle and consume food.
This month the helpful tips are focused on how to reduce waste around food.
Floortje Hoette, Chief Executive of Produced in Kent, knows that people are more likely to change one thing at a time, which is why the organisation is challenging residents to Change One Thing in its year-long campaign to help fight food waste and boost the local economy.
“Make a change, practise it ten times and that change becomes a habit, you don’t even think about it anymore” comments Hoette. “By adopting one change a month over the course of the year, by the end of 2021, the positive effect residents of Kent will cumulatively have on the county will be huge.”
Love food, hate waste with these top five tips from Produced in Kent.
- Plan ahead – According to the European Commission, the UK produces an estimated 14 million tonnes of food waste each year. To help avoid wasting food, make sure to prepare a shopping list (or even a list of meals for the week!) before going food shopping. By buying only what’s needed and cooking the right portions, this helps the planet by reducing food waste and helps control spending.
- Bring a bag – Speaking of shopping, approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide every year and the average “working life” of a plastic bag is only 15 minutes! To avoid adding to the amount of plastic waste, invest in good quality reusable bags like linen or recycled clothes. Take them shopping and keep them in the car or pick a foldaway one that can attach to a keyring.
- Switch to a reusable water bottle – Every year, approx. 7.7 billion plastic bottles are purchased ￼ To avoid contributing to single-use plastic waste, switch to a reusable water bottle – they come in plenty of colours and designs! Grabbing a morning takeaway coffee? Be sure to buy a reusable cup and ask the coffee shop to use that instead of a disposable one.
- Buy in bulk – Packaging represents just over 40% of all plastic usage. Why not try and reduce the amount of packaging used by buying dried goods such as pasta, rice, or lentils in bulk. Macknade in Faversham offers a great packaging-free station. Try going the extra mile and bring jars or linen bags to pack them into!
- Give your leftovers a second life – You could warm your leftovers up the next day, but you can also freeze them for later. Curries, stews, and other one-pot meals freeze really well and can be kept frozen for up to 3 months. Alternatively, you can also reimagine yesterday’s dinner – leftover vegetables make a great filling for a wrap or spring rolls, and any extra cooked rice is the perfect base for an egg fried rice dish the next day.
“If everyone commits to Change One Thing every month this will hugely benefit the county by providing jobs, preserving our beautiful country side and reinforcing community values, not to mention help reduce food waste” adds Hoette.
These are simple changes that will have a much-needed positive impact on the local independent food and drink industry and the environment. By making small adjustments, these cumulative changes will have a greater impact on the planet.
Look out for next month’s Change One Thing article which will explore how to buy seasonal.