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Waste Not Want Not

In these strange times when going to buy food is a special outing, lots of our favourite foods are hard to come by – think pasta and tomato sauce, or fresh bread! – then the last thing we want to do is waste any of the food that we buy. Also, wasted food means wasted resources: water, fuel  - all of which contributes to climate change.

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The first step to reducing the amount of food that we waste is to get to know what we throw out and why.

Here is a simple project for the next few weeks- Let’s say a month.

You will need:

  • 4 copies of the Recording Sheet attached – if you don’t have a printer – no worries – just copy the form out onto some plain paper.
  • You will need one form for each week that you keep records – there is a line for each day of the week.
  • A pen
  • Kitchen scales
  • A small bowl or lightweight food box
  • Your brown food-waste caddy if you have one (where the waste food will end up for collection).

Each time anyone in the house throws some food away – whatever it is, then write down on the form

  • What type of food it is g. Bread, plate scrapings from a meal, milk
  • A description: e.g. half a loaf, half a bottle
  • Where it ended up: e.g. down the sink, in the bin, in the dog bowl
  • Why it was thrown out: e.g. out of date, mouldy, uneaten
  • Weight in grams
    • To weigh the food first weigh the bowl or food box (1)
    • Put the waste food in the bowl or box and weigh the two together (2)
    • Subtract weight (1) from weight (2) and record the result (3) on your form
  • At the end of the week total up the weight of food wasted and record which type of food was wasted the most.
  • Record these details on the Summary Form or a handwritten copy of it.

When you have completed the four week project and your Summary Form, take a photo of the Summary and send it to us here at Octopus 


Don’t stop there. Talk about the results in your family or household. Why did food get wasted? How could you waste less. Make a plan to cut down on waste – over the next few weeks we will publish some ideas to help you.