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Be creative with your food waste – we tell you how

Let’s start with some facts about food waste. We hope that reading these will make you care more about it and be creative with you food waste – we tell you how.

A landfill full of wasted and rotting food

A huge amount wasted each year

  • 50 million chickens are wasted in the UK each year (Source: The Guardian).
  • £470 a year is how much an average UK family spends on food which is binned , not eaten (Source : wrap.org.uk)
  • One third of all food produced across the globe is lost or wasted. (Source: fao.org)
  • 100 million pints of milk are tipped down the drain each year in the UK (Source: Huffington Post)
  • 240,000 tonnes of food is wasted by UK supermarkets every year (Source: Evening Standard)
  • Over 10 million tonnes of food [PDF] are binned each year in the UK. (Source: wrap.org.uk)

Why is food waste bad for the environment?

When we waste food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package it. 

And if food goes to the landfill and rots, it produces methane—a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide.

About 11% of all the greenhouse gas emissions that come from the food system could be reduced if we stop wasting food.


In the US alone, the production of lost or wasted food generates the equivalent of 37 million cars’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions.

Source : wwf

Get creative with your food waste!

[1] Freeze leftover herbs

If you find yourself with more fresh herbs than you can use, they don’t have to slowly wilt in the fridge until they’re beyond help: rosemary, thyme, cilantro, sage, basil, or whatever else you have on hand can be frozen for future use.

Make sure to thoroughly wash and dry the herbs, and prepare them the way you normally would before eating (stems removed, spoiled pieces discarded, etc.). Finely chop and press into each “cube” of an ice tray. Top them off with olive oil and freeze. Once solid, the cubes can be removed from the tray and stored in a freezer bag.

The cubes can be tossed directly into a pan for sautéing vegetables, or melted to dress a salad.

Even fresh ginger can be frozen – either shaved and stored in ice trays for individual servings, or peeled and frozen whole to be grated as needed.

MORE on epicurious.com

[2] Save leftover lemon peels for a homemade cleaning solution

​If you use a lot of lemons for cooking or beverages, repurpose the rinds for an easy, organic surface cleaner.

After squeezing lemons for use, collect the rinds in a clean glass jar in the fridge, packing them tightly. Make sure to remove any stickers and thoroughly wash the lemons beforehand.

Once full of peels, fill the jar with vinegar, cap it tightly, and keep in a dark, cool place (like the back of the fridge).

After about two weeks, your lemon-cleanser base should be ready. Strain the liquid through a piece of cheesecloth or a mesh strainer into another clean jar, discarding the peels.

In a spray bottle, combine the cleanser base with water in a 1:1 ratio, and it’s ready to go.

This organic surface cleaner is excellent for glass windows and mirrors, showers and sinks, countertops, and other surfaces. Since the mixture is very acidic, avoid using on marble or stone, as it might cause pitting on the surface.

More on toriavey.com

[3] Stock up on scraps

[4] Keep produce dirty.

Extend the life of fruits and vegetables by refraining from washing until you’re ready to use them; too much moisture on produce can cause premature decay and send food to the trash.

[5] Revive limp kale (and any leafy greens)

Kale and most other leafy greens like to be kept dry – a dish towel wrapped around the leaves and placed inside a produce bag should keep them fresh in the fridge; but, droopy kale isn’t a lost cause! 

Cut the edges of the stems and submerge in a few inches of water in a glass. Tuck them in the fridge for a few hours, and the leaves will perk right up.

[6] Grow your own herbs

At most mainstream grocery stores, fresh herbs come pre-packaged in disposable plastic containers and in rather large quantities.

When a recipe calls for only a dash of rosemary or a handful of chopped basil for serving, you might find yourself with more than you can realistically use.

Many herbs will thrive in a pot on your windowsill, close at hand to pluck exactly the amount you need for a given recipe.

Plant the starters or seeds in a well-draining pot, and water only when the soil is dry or the herbs are drooping. If you have a window sill that gets around 6 hours of indirect sunlight a day, great; if not, a small grow light can brighten up any corner of the house where you have space for growing.


Finished planter with parsley | Drawing United

How about making your own windowsill herb planter from old plastic container?

> We’ll show you how


[7] Get pickling

Too many veggies for that recipe? Try preserving it instead of tossing it in the trash.

Pickling is a great way to squeeze some extra life out of foods. Cucumbers, onions, cauliflower, beets, green beans, onions, and even fruit can be easily pickled for future use.

By keeping some vinegar, sugar, and salt on hand, you’ll be ready to prepare an easy brine in a pinch for preserving your produce.

[8] Make a smoothie with the extras

By Pierrick Senelaer

Since 2015, I have had the chance to have my own art studio in Stoke Newington (London).

Environmental issues such as Climate Change or Plastic Pollution, are something I feel concerned about. Therefore, I’ve launched DRAWING UNITED.

Drawing United is a collective of artists, started off by Pierrick Senelaer, who cares for our environment and planet and who want to use their art and creativity to raise awareness and/or support a good cause.

ACT NOW! "The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it"Robert Swann

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