Why is reducing food waste so important to climate change?

The fight on food waste has a crucial part to play in the solution to the climate emergency.

Food production uses a vast amount of resources, such as energy to produce fertiliser, process and transport food and water for irrigation. 70% of global freshwater is used in agriculture! Sadly we still waste 4.5 million tonnes of edible food each year in households in the UK.

Just in Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire over 10,000 tonnes of edible food was thrown away by households last year.

Every food item thrown away contributes to climate change and not only is this having a negative effect on the environment it also wastes money. Overall, the average UK family wastes £720 per year in food.

Whose responsibility is food waste?

Filmed in March as part of a fortnight of Zero Carbon communities events and during WRAP’s Food Waste Action Week. The Food for our Future workshop tackled the question of ‘Whose responsibility is Food Waste?’. Speakers Cllr Brian Milnes and Cambridge Sustainable Food CEO Sam Dyer discussed the barriers around reducing food waste and we showcased some of our recent Food for our Future campaign activities. Watch the recording here.

What impact can your household have?

During lockdown national food waste statistics were at their lowest for years according to figures from WRAP UK, we want to support you in keeping and building on these good habits!

Making simple changes to your household food shopping and cooking habits can really help reduce your carbon footprint.

Small tasks such as turning old bananas into banana muffins (see Leo’s demo), taking time to write a shopping list or even take a #shelfie can help make a huge difference to climate change.

If we all stop throwing away good food and drink we could save the equivalent of 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, equivalent to taking 1 in 4 cars off the road. The power is in our hands!

Get inspired to cook!

James Shepherd from The Let’s Cook Project shows us that pumpkins aren’t just for carving by making a simple Autumnal pumpkin pangrattato pasta dish – also helpful for using up any left-over bread! Find out more about The Let’s Cook Project here.

Liz Young shows us how to prepare delicious celeriac & Apple fritters and share her top-tips for using up leftover herbs! Find out more about the Modern Table here.

Inspired? Read on for more ways you can make a difference.

Recipes

Our favourite recipes using the most commonly wasted items from households in the UK

Food waste tips

Find out how small, simple habit changes when cooking and shopping can have a big impact on your carbon footprint

For kids

Food for our children's future- get the kids involved and engaged in reducing food waste and composting with our activities and resources

Cambridge Sustainable Food

Who we are: Cambridge Sustainable Food is an innovative and growing partnership of public, private and community organisations in Cambridge and the surrounding villages. We work with each other to promote a vibrant local food system all along the supply chain and in our community.

What we do: Cambridge Sustainable Food campaigns to achieve healthy and sustainable food for everyone. We help to drive change to create a thriving food culture that is focused on everybody’s wellbeing, supports farmers’ livelihoods and builds a strong food economy. Our Food for our Future campaign is funded by South Cambridgeshire District Council through a Zero Carbon Communities grant.

Related Pages

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Three University pioneers set out how they're transforming the footprint of an 800 year-old institution. Focusing on food, Amy, Nick and Emma will explain how science, cookery and smart business-sense came together to make a real difference. Screening from Tuesday 30 March.

Precious water

We drink it, we bathe in it, cook and clean and have fun with it. But do we leave enough for nature too? And how can we use less?

Regenerative farming in Cambridgeshire

Do you care about where your food comes from? Are you looking to improve the health of your soil? Find what farmers in Cambridgeshire are doing on a large scale.