CHRISTMAS lunch was a hit – but how much of your leftover food actually went in the bin?
According to recycling campaign Love Food Hate Waste, 230,000 tonnes of festive food goes to waste every year in Britain.
That’s the equivalent of 46,000 African elephants.
After all the festive excess, Kirklees Council’s environment team is urging residents to exorcise the ghost of Christmas dinner past and spend the new year cutting down on waste.
Clr David Sheard, cabinet member for regeneration, environment and transport, said: “You’ve only got to look at the dustbins outside people’s houses to realise how much food we waste.
“People should look at their own waste and think about how much money they’ve spent.
“I think people have got to realise that by cutting waste they are not just saving the planet but they are saving money too.
“We all should be aware in this day and age how much we are spending and saving money through cutting back on waste makes sense to me.
“It’s a no-brainer. Why buy things you’re going to throw away?
“If people don’t want to save the world – at least let’s save some money.”
Wasting food costs the average family with children around £680 a year – or £50 a month – and has serious environmental implications too.
If we all stop wasting food that could have been eaten the CO2 impact would be the equivalent of taking one in five cars off the road.
Food waste is a serious problem with Brits throwing away 7.2 million tonnes every year.
Food makes up almost one fifth of waste in developed countries with the US and UK among the worst offenders. Worse still, a report earlier this year by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FOA) found that globally one third of all food goes to waste.
When food is collected by waste authorities and put into landfill it decomposes underground without oxygen (anaerobically) and produces methane – a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Tips from Love Food, Hate Waste
Plan meals. Check what you’ve already got in the house and work out what you need to buy for the week’s meals. Avoid impulse buys by making – and sticking to – a shopping list.
Measure out portions. Try to get the portions right to begin with so you don’t get any waste.
Follow advice on the best way of storing food and making the most of your freezer.
Be creative with your leftovers and try new recipes and plan menus based on spare ingredients.
Try home composting and creating a wormery if you can’t use leftover in any other way.
For top tips and recipe ideas on how to save food and money see www.lovefood hatewaste.com