We are all guilty of reaching for convenience food when we feel like time is not on our side. But with an estimated 2.5 million tonnes of plastic packaging waste being produced in the UK each year, it is important to take active steps to reduce the amount we invite into our homes.
One way to reduce the amount of packaging we throw away is to make more of our own meals. We can save around 25% of the carbon needed to produce a pre-packaged meal by cooking the same dish at home. This seems very simple in principle, but it can feel daunting when trying to put this into practice.
Benefits of making your own meals:
- You know exactly what you are putting into your meals – there’s no hidden sugars, fats or salt.
- You can add more of the good stuff – many ready meals have smaller portions of fruit and vegetables.
- Less packaging ends up in landfill.
- Cooking can be a creative outlet and enhance your personal development.
Tips for making your own meals:
- Plan meals ahead of time.
- Batch cook – if you have children, why not get them involved with this?
- Experiment and make it fun!
- Choose simple recipes to start with and increase the complexity as you become more confident in the kitchen.
- Try ‘grow your own’ – cuts out food miles, and start small so it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
- Buy seasonal – buying local, seasonal produce usually means that you get the best prices for food and will be supporting the local economy. The produce you eat will also be at its peak time for eating.
Tips for reducing packaging waste:
If you need to buy food in packaging, look for it in recyclable options such as glass or tin cans.
- If you have the space, buy dried goods in bulk, this means fewer individual packages.
- Take your own container out with you – many supermarkets, restaurants and cafes are happy for you to fill up your own, and some even provide a discount when you do.
Help yourself and the environment by eating fresh and reducing the amount of pre-packaged food you buy!
- Choose local, seasonal and organic vegetables
- Make your own meals
- Reduce your food waste