Love Food, Hate Waste Challenge winner revealed

Emma Jenkins and son Austin

More than 120 participants from around the borough joined in our November Love Food, Hate Waste Challenge, polishing up their food waste knowledge before Christmas.

Since we began running our food waste challenges in 2016, one of the most popular reasons for signing up to the challenge has been to help the environment. Based on this feedback, this year’s challenge focused on how food waste contributes to climate change.

UK households are responsible for an astonishing 70 per cent of food waste in the UK - throwing away around 4.5 million tonnes of edible food. The resources required to grow, preserve and transport most of this food often produces harmful greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide in the process. With a quarter of all global greenhouse gas emissions coming from our food, it is one of the most significant contributors to climate change.

More than two thirds of the participants that took part in this year’s challenge were already aware of how food waste can contribute to climate change. Yet, the two most common reasons for taking part in the challenge were to improve on their skills and to help the environment. By the end of the challenge around 93 per cent of participants said they were more aware of the impact food waste has on climate change.

A big part of the challenge was focused on highlighting key behaviours that can help reduce food waste in the daily routine. More than half of the participants surveyed found that after completing the challenge they now check what food needs to be used up before cooking and shopping, as well as freezing their food instead of throwing it away.

The different tips, tricks and guidance sent throughout the challenge helped participants save an average of £18 for the month. Over 97 per cent of those surveyed after the challenge said they found it to be helpful. Two thirds said they noticed a reduction in their food waste and saved money, while over half said they also were able to reduce the time they spend in the kitchen.

Participants that completed both a before and after challenge survey were entered into a prize draw and the winner, Emma Jenkins, along with her husband Dave and son Austin (pictured), received a new blender. Emma shared some of her family’s thoughts on her experience. “We found the Love Food, Hate Waste challenge eye opening," she said. "It has really made us as a family more conscious of what we are buying, eating and wasting. By participating in this challenge we have saved money, been educated - not only on how to minimise our food waste but the importance of disposing of it correctly, and we have reduced the amount of food being thrown away. Brilliant!”

Food waste continues to be a big part of the way households can tackle climate change. While there is still a lot to be done, together UK households have made great progress, cutting down food waste by 1.4 million tonnes since 2007. To find out how you can help reduce the food waste in your home, visit the Love Food Hate Waste website.

If you missed out on our 2020 food waste challenge, you can email to register your interest for next time.

You can also find more tips on leading a more environmentally friendly lifestyle on our Top tips for a green 2021 page.