My Family’s Zero Waste Week Zero Food Waste Pledge

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Zero Waste Week is coming up again, 4th – 8th September and this year celebrates its TENTH anniversary. Zero Waste Week is a great international campaign providing lots of great tips and support to help and encourage everyone to reduce their waste, preserve resources and save money in the process.

This year, I’m delighted to once again be an Ambassador for this important campaign. This means I’ll be blogging everyday during the week on how we can all reduce our waste and be better stewards of this lovely planet of ours, leaving it nice and tidy, not too hot and with enough food and resources for our kids and grandkids.

Each year, people are encouraged to make a pledge for #Zerowasteweek, something they will make an extra effort to achieve. This year, my family’s pledge is the same as last year, to achieve zero food waste for the entire week.

However, there is a big difference. When I suggested this to my family last year, it was met with scepticism. They didn’t think we’d be able to achieve absolutely no food waste whatsoever for an entire week. We did achieve it, but it was difficult.

This year, a lot has changed. We have now been in the habit of reducing our food waste for just over a year and things have got a lot easier. Being mindful of our food waste has become second nature.  I have three children aged 12,11 and 6 and all three of them are now really good at not wasting food. For example, they are very mindful of not putting more on their plates than they can eat. When they want a snack, they have a look in the fridge or cupboards and ask what needs eating up. They’ve adopted a continental approach to finishing up bread that’s past its best by dipping it in olive oil. My middle child likes to put reminders on the fridge door as to what needs eating up  – sometimes, he also lays claim to something by writing his name next to it (sneaky tactic to stop his brother from scoffing it first). My youngest, who can be a fussy eater at times, is now quite happy to have the remains of her dinner re-heated at supper time if she didn’t finish it. In the past, it would have been thrown away and she would have had something else. In short, I think that all three of them have come to value food more. They understand that not everyone in the world has enough to eat. They know the impact food waste has on climate change and the responsibility we all share to do everything we can to reduce this.

We’ve come a long way in a year. Most weeks, we get it about 95% right, so going for 100% seems achievable. What we have learnt over this last year is that reducing our food waste is a journey. Sometimes we will have bad weeks, but that shouldn’t stop us from aiming for 100% every week. Adopting new habits and a new mindset really helps. However, deep down, we all know that if we were truly hungry and never had enough to eat, like one in eight of the world’s population, food waste would never be a problem. Our food waste is a first world problem we really shouldn’t have.

4-8 Sept is #ZeroWasteWeek – Sign up here! goo.gl/oqHvRk

Follow on twitter @myzerowaste #zerowasteweek

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