Habits with impact: the Ailuna “no more binning food” dare
This series of posts explores each of Ailuna’s dares (sustainability training programs) in more detail, including an introduction to their creators, the reasons and issues behind them and some helpful tips, advice and resources to make sure you can take each dare and earn your badge for succeeding!
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7 minutes to read
No more binning food – meet the dare creator
This dare was created by Gemma, an active environmentalist and conservationist who has worked in the waste industry for many years. Gemma is passionate about reducing waste in all areas of day-to-day life, but is particularly passionate about food waste and its effects on the environment.
Recently, Gemma interviewed chef and fellow food waste fighter Martyn Odell, also known as Lagom Chef. During the interview, Gemma mentions that being armed with knowledge and confidence around shopping, preparing and cooking food, we can all aim to make huge reductions to the amount of food we waste each week.
Gemma sees our food as having been on a journey similar to our own. A seed is planted, fed and watered, then ripens into a thing of yummy beauty. Surely we don’t want all that time and energy to end up in the bin?
“This dare is all about helping people on a path towards thinking every step of their food’s journey through. With some solid foundations and habits in place, we can make a huge difference”. – Gemma, dare creator
Why should we reduce the amount of food we throw away?
We all produce unavoidable food waste such as bones, egg shells, and inedible peelings, but how often do we throw away food that is past its best or we’ve prepared too much of?
We waste 4.5 million tonnes of edible food in the UK each year. That’s enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall 90 times (source: Love Food Hate Waste).
Food waste has a greater effect on the climate crisis than plastic pollution. This means that every single crumb of food we can turn into something delicious to eat is a step closer to preserving this beautiful planet of ours.
It can also save you money. By really taking care not to waste food, the average household can save over £700 per year.
By reducing the food we throw away, we are also valuing the labour, land, water and energy used to produce our delicious food, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. After all, they say that reducing food waste is the number one way to fight climate change. So let’s do it together!
What does this dare involve?
The “No more binning your food” dare helps you to reduce the amount of edible food being thrown into the bin – whether that is a general waste, recycling or compost bin!
Throughout the dare you’ll be challenged to reduce your edible waste by being more mindful of what food you have, buy and how you store and cook it.
The dare starts with a week initially (stage 1), but you can then progress through stages 2 and 3 for a total of 4 weeks – a good amount of time to help your new habits to stick!
Do I need any special equipment or preparation before I take on this dare?
Great news – there’s no fancy equipment or prep needed, so you can get started straight away!
Gemma’s top 5 tips for success.
Here are dare creator Gemma’s top 5 tips for earning your badge for this dare.
Know what you throw
Have a think about foods you currently throw away the most. Knowing what these are will help you think of ways to avoid it during the dare. For example, if you throw potatoes away regularly then ask yourself why this is. Do you buy too many? Are you storing them correctly? Or if you are scraping plates of food after every evening meal then are you cooking too much, or just not cooking what the household enjoys?!
It’s ok to take this dare slowly
If your household wastes a lot of edible food, then either address it one food item at a time or take it meal-by-meal. However you tackle this dare, you will not be alone! But by stage 3, I can assure you you’ll have more confidence in the kitchen and be throwing away less food.
Have a first-in, first-out system.
It can be hard keeping track of everything you have in your fridge or cupboards, especially if they’re very full or small. A good trick is to pop newly-bought foods behind older foods, unless the use-by date is earlier than those older foods. Then when you start at the front, you’re eating those foods that are at risk of being thrown, before it’s too late!
Know how to store food properly.
This handy A-Z guide for food storage is a great tool to make sure you know the best way to store different types of food.
Use a handful of simple hacks
To keep food fresh for longer, check out my video below for some tips on keeping your veggies fresh.
If you’ve already completed this dare, why not try reducing your overall waste with the “Perform a waste check” dare? Or stay in the kitchen with the “Waste-less lunch dare”. Both available to start in the free Ailuna app today!