Zero Waste Week: Revved up & raring to go!

So Zero Waste Week kicks off tomorrow!

For… erm…A week!

As I said in yesterday’s post, I am taking part in the initiative in an attempt to reduce my food waste. How easy is that going to be?

Let me tell you a little about my situation…

I live in Scotland with my partner and our two young children. He works five days a week and I am at home looking after the children and fitting in whatever I can around that. For a few years my efforts focussed solely on keeping them safe, fed and happy, with the odd few minutes allocated to shoving any mess under the bed and running a wet wipe over the bathroom. Happily now I have graduated to some cooking, recycling, blogging and…shoving any mess under the bed and running a wet wipe over the bathroom!

Here’s a picture of us drawn by my eldest – that’s me second from the left.

photo (137)

So my priorities are my children, what they eat, trying to be a little bit responsible about the environment and writing (my own little indulgence).

Attempting to reduce my food waste ties in nicely with what’s important to me. I spend a significant chunk of each day planning what we will eat as a family and then preparing it. I am aware of the food waste that we produce and have even done a previous post on it but I have been focussing mainly on the waste that I produced as a result of preparing food as opposed to the food that is actually wasted in the process of me feeding the family.

I believe that food shouldn’t be wasted in my family – here’s why:

• One person (me!) coordinates all of the meal planning, the shopping & cooking so it should be possible to limit excesses;
• The children and my other half are great eaters and will devour most of what they are given;
• None of us have to restrict our food consumption due to weight issues.

Before pondering over the subject of food waste reduction, I would have guessed we weren’t especially guilty of that particular crime – perhaps the odd piece of fruit or veg every now and again.

Over the last few days though, I decided to take a picture when I saw food in our house going to waste. I was shocked:

A left-over portion of bean casserole

photo (108)


2 red onions that got wet at the back of the fridge

photo (115)

Four of a batch of 12 muffins that failed to get iced

photo (138)


A significant pile of flour that fell of the plate when I was measuring out the ingredients for bread

photo (117)

Some leftover sheets of lasagne

photo (119)

A tub of hummus that got lost in the fridge

photo (114)

The end bits of a loaf of bread

 photo (140)

Some potatoes left over from the veg box that I couldn’t face peeling as they were so small and the potatoes from the next veg box had arrived

photo (121)

Some bicarbonate of soda that had got separated from its lid in my cupboard

photo (122)

Some ham that I’d not refrigerated quickly enough due being distracted because I had friends round

photo (113)

That wasn’t even everything! To be honest, I do feel ashamed about this waste. For me, obviously I’m concerned about  the harm that food waste does to the environment when it is disposed of and starts to decompose, but the main issue is the moral argument.

Food poverty is soaring in Britain with 3 new foodbanks opening each week in the UK, according to the Trussel Trust and here I am buying food that I’m not using. I can’t justify it.

Let’s see if I can use this week to make a difference. Please join me tomorrow on the blog as I make a start.

zero waste week 2013 header logo


16 thoughts on “Zero Waste Week: Revved up & raring to go!

  1. Good luck with your challenge – sounds a good one! I am as guilty as anyone for food waste. It should be easy to avoid but it’s harder than it looks. Even more so with a family I would imagine because you need enough food to cook but not too much that leftovers are stored away and then forgotten about. Shall look forward to hearing how you get on and very best wishes!

  2. Fantastic post – taking an audit really helps you realise what you’re throwing away doesn’t it? Nearly everyone I challenge to do this ends up surprised about what they are throwing away. But hey, knowledge is power and I know you’re going to rock this week! And I reckon you might end up discovering a new family favourite recipe too 😉

  3. It’s those little bits and pieces … the things we don’t usually even notice … that add up to create a lot of waste. I was like you … I thought that we really had eliminating food waste “down to a science”. Then, thanks to Mrs. Green’s challenge & the Zero Waste Week event, I paid close attention to things like veggie trimmings and noticed that I was cutting off edible pieces. They go to a compost but … it would be better if they went in our dish. Thanks so much for sharing your audit with us. Mrs. Green (aka Rachelle Strauss) shared your post as part of my blog’s weekly Change The World Wednesday so I’ll be linking to it and giving you some “bloggy love” on Wednesday. 🙂

    • Ah thank you, that’s so kind. I’m taken aback by how much of a challenge this is going to be – it just shouldn’t be a problem considering that I thought I was ‘tuned in’ to green issues! Good to take stock sometimes 🙂

  4. It sure is quite a challenge to go Zero Waste but I reckon you’ll find it as rewarding as it is tough and by the end of it you’ll be sure to be a pro which can only be of benefit in the long run when it comes to things like food budgets.

    I’m in the fortunate situation of being able to buy food daily which means I rarely waste a great deal anyway unless my portions get out of control which they occasionally do when cooking pasta or rice!

    Good luck with it all!

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