#FoodSavvy Challenge | An Update [Ad]

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 This post is an advertorial for environmental charity Hubbub.

For the past few weeks i've been trying to cut down on my food waste and use of single-use plastics as part of the #FoodSavvy challenge in collaboration with environmental charity Hubbub, Norfolk Recycles and Suffolk Recycles. If this is your first time hearing about the challenge, then head over to my previous post to find out what it entails and how you can participate in the challenge. So without further a do, lets find out how I got along in my first week...

Preventing food waste has been something i've continued to work on since participating in the challenge back in 2019. One of the main ways i've lowered my food waste is to plan my meals and shop online. By shopping online it means that i'm not tempted to buy products just because they are on offer or because they look good. I'm definitely a sucker for a BOGOF, so i'm less tempted by these offers if I can't physically see the item. One of the disadvantages of shopping online though is that most of the food is packaged in plastic. I usually do my online shopping through Ocado, mainly because I seem to always get vouchers to spend, however they always send produce in plastic, even if you opt for the loose veg. In a bid to try and reduce my plastic use, this week I decided to get my groceries delivered from Morrison's, and I was glad to find that they do actually send your produce unpacked if you have purchased a 'loose' item. Unlike Ocado, the items weren't delivered in plastic bags either which is also a massive plus. 

I was very lucky to have received a box full of goodies to help me on my journey to less food and plastic waste, which have been really really useful. I've enjoyed using the beeswax wraps that I received from Natural Wraps UK instead of using cling film. Cling film is really hard to recycle so it usually ends up in landfill. In Britain alone, 1.2 billion metres of cling film is used each year. If you're struggling to imagine that amount of cling film, then picture it like this...you could wrap the world up over 30 times with this amount of cling film. I'm definitely going to be replacing my cling film and sandwich bag usage with these wraps from now on. Another alternative to cling film, are the Oxo reusable silicone lids, which can be placed over bowls. 

Another great habit i've started since taking on the #FoodSavvy challenge, is to make enough food for dinner so that I can take the leftovers for lunch the following day. Not only does this save me time in the mornings, but it also reduces my food waste and it also saves me money too. The Sistema and Oxo containers have been a great addition to my tupperware collection, and are the perfect size for lunch portions. 

There are two great zero-waste shops in Norwich, re-source and Ernie's Zero Waste Shop where you can purchase food items in bulk. I've shopped in both of them in the past and you can get a variety of dried goods, toiletries and fresh fruit and vegetables. The produce bags from a slice of green are ideal for buying products in bulk, like pasta and rice, and also for fruits and vegetables. They even have a label with the tare weight so you can deduct this amount from the total weight to make sure you're only paying for the food itself and not for the weight of the bag. The Ikea storage jars are great for storing all of the dried goods once you're home too. Who doesn't like a well organised pantry!? 

Since starting the challenge i've become really aware of how many snacks I consume. I was going through at least a packet of crips and a cereal bar per day, which was creating a lot of waste. Not only that but they're not the healthiest thing to eat in the world... I'm quite lucky that at my workplace  though, because they've just introduced a TerraCycle crips packet recycling bin, which means that I can actually recycle my crips packets. If you haven't hear of TerraCycle before, then they are a innovative recycling company that specialises in recycling hard-to-recycle waste, such as crisp packets and toiletries. Ernie's Zero Waste Shop also has a TerraCycle drop off point, so if you are in the Norwich area and want to start recycling your crisp packets then this is the place to go. 

The only food waste I produced this past week was a packet of naan breads. They were still within their best before date, but there was a split in the vacuum packaging which meant that the naan breads ended up spoiling and going mouldy. Had I have noticed the damaged packaging when I purchased the product, then I would have put them straight in the freezer, but unfortunately they had to go straight into the food waste bin. That is the only food waste I produced this week though so I think i've done quite well! In terms of plastic waste, I've been using a reusable water bottle for years and always carry a takeaway coffee cup around with me so I always thought I was doing okay with reducing my single-use plastics, but the amount of packaging I collected over the week from my groceries alone was shocking. I will definitely be focussing on trying to purchase more package free produce in the next few weeks of the challenge, and i'm also going to try and make my own snacks in a bid to reduce my waste.

Have you tried to go zero-waste yet?


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