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9 ways to make your food and drink more eco-friendly

Watermelon in plastic box with plastic fork

Published at 3:47pm 4th March 2019. (Updated at 4:09pm 4th March 2019)

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Celebrate Green Month and make a difference for future generations by reducing food waste and making small changes to how you buy and consume food and drink. 

1) Understand use by dates

Every year 250,000 tonnes of food that goes to waste is still edible – that’s enough for 650 million meals.

Why not get to grips with dates displayed on food?

Whilst meat, fish and dairy use by dates are compulsory due to health risks, other foods such as fruit, veg and dried goods have best before dates instead, meaning they are often still safe to eat after this date. Take this account next time you’re about to throw food away.

Best before date displayed on orange juice
It's time to bottle up the best before date misunderstanding!

2) Buy a reusable coffee cup

We’ve become a nation of coffee lovers, but buying disposable coffee cups is creating unnecessary waste. Why not get into the habit of reusable cups? Many places now offer discounts if you take your own, and they can keep your coffee warmer for longer!

Reusable pink coffee cup
Oh lord, coffee in a reusable cup please!

3) Plan your meals 

The average household throws away about £470 worth of edible food every single year, but meal planning and using your leftovers can go a long way to helping this. Dishes like homemade soups, curries and risottos can be a delicious way of making the most of leftover food.

bowl of a rice meal.
Having some leftovers is a great opportunity to try something new.

4) Change to biodegradable teabags 

We all love a cup of tea, but the majority of tea bags sold are only 75% biodegradable as they contain plastic. Why not try switching to biodegradable ones? Many teabag companies are making the switch too, so just check on the back of the packaging.

a range of tea.
Changing to a biodegradable teabag is an easy way to help the environment.

5) Meat free Monday

Let’s bring back meat free Mondays! Livestock production is responsible for almost 15% of global greenhouse gases, but cutting out even a little bit of meat from your diet will start reducing it, and is good for your health too! Even if it’s just once a week try swapping your chicken for chickpeas, your beef for beans, or your lamb for lentils!

Vegetables in stir fry
Don't be scared of the vegetables!

6) Don't forget your reusable shopping bags 

You already know about reusable shopping bags, but we’ve all had that moment when you nip into the shop and forget them. Try to make a habit of keeping a few in your car and your bag. Canvas or fabric ones are especially good as they contain no plastic, are more durable and can be washed when they get dirty.

reusable bag image
Saving the planet and saving yourself 5 or 10p per bag.

7) Don't just use reusable bags at the supermarket

The average plastic bag is only used once, and takes over 100 years to decompose in landfill. Many people are now in the habit of using reusable carrier bags at the supermarket, but what about the rest of the time? Try to keep a reusable bag, preferably a canvas one, in your bag ready for any eventuality.

reusable bag
Bag it, don't bin it!

8) Avoid plastic at the supermarket

UK supermarkets generate 800,000 tonnes of plastic packaging every year. Next time you do the food shopping, why not consider purchasing items with the least amount of plastic packaging possible? You even take your own bags for loose fruit and vegetables rather than buying them in plastic trays, or opt for glass, metal or cardboard packaging that can be recycled.

Watermelon in plastic box with plastic fork
Water-way to save the oceans one step at a time. 

9) Do your supermarket shop online

Doing your supermarket shop online might seem like the lazy option, but it actually helps the environment! Having just one delivery van for multiple food shops reduces carbon emissions and most supermarkets even offer a ‘no bags’ option too.

computer
Shopping list at the ready...

What is Stray FM's Green month?

Throughout March 2019, we're celebrating all things green with Entech Commercial who are based in Harrogate. 

From reducing food waste, to improving your household and workplace recycling, and from cutting out plastic, to lowering your carbon footprint, we're making eco-friendly living as easy as possible!

Get more green tips from Stray FM

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