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Click here for National Zero Waste week 2013

600 of our finest British Pounds – count them – £600, is the amount of money the average British household literally throws away, into the bin, every year.

You’d never walk past the kitchen bin, put your hand in your pocket, pull out a fiver and throw it in, would you?

Yet that, in effect, is what all too many of us do on a daily basis when we scrape our leftovers and dump our out of date and unused food from the fridge, into the bin!

Research shows we are wasting on average £50 a month on food we never eat.

Over 7 Million tons of food is thrown away by us annually. Just think about that for a moment! 7 million tons of food! And that’s just from households. It gets much much worse when you add in ALL the food waste we produce, from crops that aren’t harvested because they’re too wonky for the supermarkets to all the food stuffs dumped on an industrial scale by the hospitality industries.

That’s £12 Billion pounds worth to you and me!

Globally, it’s estimated half of all food produced never reaches it’s final destination:

Today, we produce about four billion metric tonnes of food per annum. Yet due to poor practices in harvesting, storage and transportation, as well as market and consumer wastage, it is estimated that 30–50% (or 1.2–2 billion tonnes) of all food produced never reaches a human stomach.

You can read the Institute of Mechanical Engineers Global Food Report Here.

And when we waste food, we waste water. Did you know it takes 822 litres of water to produce a single kilo of apples? Or that 255 litres of water are used to produce a single glass of milk? Or that the kilo of beef you enjoyed for the Sunday Roast took 15,415 litres of water to get there?

Over the past century, human appropriation of fresh water has historically expanded at more than twice the rate of population increase. An estimated 3.8 trillion m3 of water are now withdrawn for human use each year, equivalent to the contents of 1.5 billion Olympic-sized swimming pools. The bulk of this abstracted water, about 70%, is taken by the agricultural sector.

That’s a lot of precious water – and a lot of it used up unnecessarily when it’s put to use producing food we don’t eat!

Well, now that we have a bit of context on the national and global level, what are we going to do about it? What can we do about it?

Stop Wasting Food!

It’s that simple.

And there are a ton of resources available to help us. See my links page to connect with some great organisations like Love Food Hate Waste where you’ll find great tips and tricks for managing your food purchases, menu planning, portion control and some great receipes to use up those leftovers.

And you can put those tips and tricks to good use next week with a challenge 🙂

2nd to 8th September is Zero Waste Week.

Take the Challenge – log on to the website, sign up and commit to really thinking about your food waste and what you’re going to do about it next week.

Read some more around the issue of food waste, and think about the food we waste on one side and the growing number of people who are living in food poverty and the growth of food banks on the other.

Then let the good practices you explore and develop during next weeks Zero Waste Week Challenge bed in and become part of you.

Oh, and if you think one person on their own can’t make a difference, it’s worth remembering Zero Waste Week was started by Rae Strauss at her kitchen table!

You know what you have to do 🙂