Daily Record - - LIFE -

WHY should we re­cy­cle our food waste? Surely it biode­grades any­way, so it doesn’t mat­ter if we put left­overs in our food caddy, does it? Well yes, it re­ally does mat­ter. When sent to land­fill, food waste doesn’t harm­lessly break down. As it rots, it re­leases meth­ane, a green­house gas which is more po­tent than car­bon diox­ide in the short term and very harm­ful to the en­vi­ron­ment. In fact, it is es­ti­mated that if every­one in Scot­land with ac­cess to a food caddy in their home re­cy­cled just their tea bags, it would be the equiv­a­lent of re­mov­ing 13,349 cars from the road ev­ery year.

This week is Re­cy­cle Week and Zero Waste Scot­land is rais­ing aware­ness of the po­ten­tial en­ergy that can be cap­tured by sim­ply plac­ing peel­ings, eggshells, tea bags and any un­eaten pro­duce in house­hold food re­cy­cling cad­dies. On­line per­son­al­ity Laura Young, oth­er­wise known as “Less Waste Laura”, has re­cently pro­duced a se­ries on her web­site, tackling all things food from seed to plate. She said: “When it comes to food waste in our homes, there are two things we can do to help – num­ber one is to re­duce the amount of food waste we pro­duce in the first place and se­cond is to cor­rectly re­cy­cle our food waste.

“Un­eaten food can be re­cy­cled in your food waste caddy and from there it can be con­verted into sus­tain­able en­ergy that can be fed back to the na­tional grid, as well as re­cy­cled soil im­prover and fer­tiliser. “Ev­ery­day food waste in­clud­ing un­eaten food and plate scrap­ings and mouldy or out of date food (in­clud­ing ready meals re­moved from their pack­ag­ing) can all be re­cy­cled. “There are sev­eral other items that can go in your food waste caddy, in­clud­ing tea bags and cof­fee grounds, peel­ings, bread, dairy prod­ucts (in­clud­ing eggshells) and meat and fish bones.”

Here are some top tips to help you re­duce your food waste... 1. Or­gan­ise your fridge Have a ded­i­cated space in your fridge which is known as the “must eat now” space. Fill it with foods which are go­ing out of date soon, or left­overs from a meal which will only last a few days. This stops food “hid­ing’ in the

back and go­ing out of date. 2. A cuppa counts Tea bags and cof­fee grounds can all be re­cy­cled in your food waste bin. Keep a tub by your ket­tle to make it eas­ier to re­mem­ber. Empty your food waste caddy SALLY McLEAN on a reg­u­lar ba­sis and only fill your lin­ers three-quar­ters full to avoid any un­wanted spills. Keep it clean by swish­ing it round with wa­ter af­ter you’ve fin­ished the dishes. Buy­ing loose fruit and veg not only saves sin­gle-use pack­ag­ing but also saves buy­ing food in mul­ti­ples when you might only need one for a recipe. There are some great food waste recipes for things like bread (crou­tons, bread and but­ter pud­ding, bread­crumbs) or ex­per­i­ment with “one pan” dishes, paella or stir fries full of bits and bobs left over from the fridge. It’s less likely that you’ll get drawn into im­pulse buys when you know what you are look­ing for. Plan­ning what you and your fam­ily are go­ing to eat that week, and tak­ing a list to the su­per­mar­ket, helps avoid un­nec­es­sary pur­chases that’ll go un­eaten.

‘Less Waste’ Laura

BIN WIN Un­eaten food can be con­verted into en­ergy

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