Food Waste Action Week 6th – 12th March: How Oxford is going green

Food waste action week
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Why do we need to be going green?

Food Waste Action Week, organised by Climate NGO Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), is in it’s third year. Their message is increasingly important for humanity’s future.

Food waste is contributing to the destruction of our planet. Our unwanted food gets dumped at landfill sites which begins to rot and release a greenhouse gas called methane into the environment. Scientists estimate that methane is one of the leading causes of climate change.

UK households are largely responsible for this food waste. WRAP research has found that, along with retailers, our households contribute 70% of food waste in the UK which roughly equates to & £19 billion worth of food. This food gets wasted during food preparation, and overlarge plate servings – all of it going straight to the landfill to do more environmental damage.

Scientists are signalling a code red for planet earth, so it’s essential that we adopt greener habits, such as recycling, to save our environment!

What is Food Waste Action Week?

Love Food, Hate Waste are focusing their 2023 campaign for Food Waste Action Week on how households can reduce their food waste. Taking place from 6th – 12th March the theme ‘Win. Don’t Bin’ , is designed to help households adopt better practices that will make the food they already have go further. You can take the featured quiz to get tailored advice on how your household can reduce food waste.

Love Food, Hate Waste Campaign Video – Food Waste Action Week 2023

Let’s take a look at some of the ways Oxford citizens have been getting involved with reducing food waste:

1.Workshops at the Replenish Project

Replenish Oxfordshire is a local charity with the the aim of supporting residents in getting to zero waste.They train volunteer composting advisors to help people to start composting at home and support events in the community such as schools or gardening clubs

For Food Waste Action Week, Replenish have been running home composting workshops and delivered ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ packs to people who usually get parcels from food banks. Lack of knowledge can be a big factor in why households end up wasting food, so learning a skill like composting can be invaluable when it comes to putting our food scraps to good use.

Replenish also deliver workshops which demonstrate how to cook with zero waste, and their monthly newsletter has great tips on seasonal cooking and home grown food. This is a great charity for anyone with green fingers eager to get stuck into growing their own food!

Veg Cities Volunteers – Replenish Oxfordshire,
picture from their wesbite:

2. The Oxford Recycles Competition

Oxford County Council have been finding small ways to encourage households to manage their food waste. For example, to combat the surplus of waste over the Christmas period in 2022, they offered households the opportunity to pick up extra caddy bags.

For Food Waste Action Week, they’ve come up with a fun competition as part of their Oxford Recycles social media campaign that you can get involved in. The winner has the opportunity to win a voucher for one of three social enterprise kitchens in Oxford:

  • Damascus Rose Kitchen
  • Down to Earth Community Cafe
  • Climatarian Kitchen

The competition opened on the 6th March and will close on the 20th March at midnight, so be sure to enter! For details on how to participate head over to their social media page. Indeed, if you like the sound of the restaurants above, you can also have a look at our article on zero waste shops in Oxford.

Damascus Rose Kitchen CAG Event 2022
Courtesy of their Twitter page:

Just a reminder, if you’ve got food to recycle, beware that there will be closures on some of the recycling sites. You can find out more in this article.

3. Oxford Food banks

Sometimes, leftovers just can’t be helped. If you know you’re not going to use up all the food in your kitchen, don’t let it go to waste. There are many food banks in Oxford who would be more than thrilled if you donated your unwanted food to them.

They are also a great alternative for supermarkets when you’re low on stock. Food banks collect surplus food from suppliers and give them to the public so that they can avoid being thrown out. Not only is this a great way to minimise food waste, but it means that those in need can get food as well.

If you don’t feel like cooking, then why not to try the Too Good To Go App and save restaurant food from going to waste. On this app, cafe’s and restaurants post their leftovers which will show up to the user as a ‘Surprise Bag’. User’s can then browse to see the locations closest to them and confirm their purchase of the ‘Surprise Bag’ on the app before collecting them. They’ve got a wide range of restaurants on there such as Yo Sushi, Budgens and Greggs to name a few.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Is the future green?

Climate change is a global issue and we are already seeing the affects of it disrupt our lives. However, we can play our part to reduce our contribution by limiting our food waste as much as we can at home. There’s a long way to go in changing the way we manage our food. However, with a bit of knowledge, practice, planning and teamwork, Oxford seems to be off to a good start in getting those local landfill sites to look a little emptier.