5 Tips to Reduce your Foodie Waste

Loretta

The recent series War on Waste brought to light just how terrifying the amount of waste we produce as a nation is, but importantly what we can do to reduce the waste we contribute to the problem.

If you didn't catch the War on Waste on ABC, it's not too late and still available on demand. Below are some of the hacks I use and ones that I have learnt from the series.

1. Get yourself a takeaway coffee cup!

Here in Australia, we use over 3 billion disposable coffee cups a year, and despite what most of us think, coffee cups aren't recyclable due to their plastic coasting! I am a big lover of Keep Cup but there are others like Frank Green Smart Cups. The best thing about BYOing your own cup, you can save money on your daily coffees (and the environment)! Responsible Cafes has a huge list of participating cafes who give discounts to those who bring their own cups. I have a couple of old Keep Cups in the car so I never need to use disposable coffee cups when I am out and about.

2. BYO Shopping Bags

Australia uses a whopping 3.92 billion plastic shopping bags every year! Many Australian states are phasing out single use plastic bags (those nasty grey supermarket bags), which is great news. What we have seen in Tasmania is that they are being replaced with thicker plastic bags intended for reuse (think ALDI bags)... it's still plastic. With most supermarkets selling sturdy non-plastic reusable shopping bags, we don't need to be buying any more 'reusable' plastic. Keep your BYO shopping bags in the car so they're hand for each shop!

3. Shop at bulk food stores

Source Bulk Foods has rapidly expanded around Australia. I am a big lover of these guys as their aim is to eliminate shopping waste! You can take whatever jar or container you like and fill it with anything and everything! I reuse the paper bags (stored with the reusable shopping bags in the car) they have if I forget my containers - you can also invest in cloth bags.

4. Say no to plastic cutlery, straws and BYO your own takeaway containers

If you know you're going to buy your lunch at work, take your own container into the cafe for them to fill instead of using their plastic takeaway containers (especially those flimsy single-use salad ones). If you're not going straight back to the office with your lunch (sitting in a park instead) bring cutlery with you and say no to the plastic or any 'eco friendly' cutlery. Another tip is to BYO your own carry bag so the cafe doesn't have to give you a plastic or paper bag to take your food away. If you love drinking out of a straw, you can now buy reusable metal ones. 

5. Say not to plastic wrapped produce

This is a huge issue in supermarkets at the moment. So much of our produced is wrapped in plastic and on styrofoam trays. If you're shopping at the supermarket, choose loose produce! Or better yet, head to your local farmers markets in the weekend to stock up on all your goodies!

These are all very simple hacks that don't take much of an investment to start, just a bit of conscious planning and habit forming.

Happy eating and shopping!