Zero Waste Week (and eating leftovers)


Today is Day Three of Zero Waste Week, the international campaign run by Rae Strauss, the inspirational voice behind my zero waste blog. The initiative has been running since 2008 and its aim is to get participants thinking about their waste. This year’s theme is about reducing food waste and so I have been looking at ours.

We tend to be pretty good with using up food. I freeze quite a lot of prepared food. I tend to do one monthly supermarket shop and will often cook up batches of roast peppers and other veg, and then freeze them for use in pizzas and pasta dishes.

However I’m not so good with our fortnightly veg box. In principal I love the idea of an organic veg and fruit box, delivered to my door (I don’t have daily access to a car). However, hand on heart, I think we waste at least one item per fortnight because the kids won’t eat it, or it goes off quickly. And there’s only so many soups you can make…

organic vegetable box via

This week I shopped at our local greengrocers buying just what we needed (according to our meal plan). In an attempt to prevent food waste I’ve also found myself eating leftover tea for lunch every day this week: two lots of macaroni cheese and, today the remains of a sweet potato and sausage casserole (plus some jacket potato remains and a serving of peas). The addition of some sour cream and chopped coriander actually made it quite delicious:

Zero Waste Week: sweet potato leftovers

I’ve also dug deep into the food cupboard and made use of these second-hand Oat Cheerios (second-hand because they were given by a friend who didn’t like them,but my kids weren’t fans either). Thanks to the wonder of Pinterest I turned them into chocolate cheerio bars.

Zero Waste Week: using up unwanted cereal via secondhandtales bog


If you want to find out more about Zero Waste Week have a look at the site and these tips here for reducing food waste. I also really rate the LoveFood,HateWaste website, which has some useful pointers about measuring portions.

Watch this space for more updates on my leftovers journey this week…

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13 thoughts on “Zero Waste Week (and eating leftovers)

  1. Good reminder Kathryn. I find that even though I think we’re pretty good at not wasting any food, when I consciously think about not wasting what we already have I cook differently. But I eat a communal lunch at my weekly volunteering job, and nearly all the food comes from FareShare – i.e. food deemed by supermarkets to be unsuitable for sale. Yet it’s always good stuff, and generally delicious (even though I stick to eating un-processed stuff as I do at home).

  2. Congrats on finding so many ways to use up extra food! I had to give up the food boxes for the same reason. No matter how creative I was, I just couldn’t use all the produce they sent, even sharing extras with neighbors. Too often, some of the produce was either half spoiled or too green to ripen when it arrived anyway. I like being able to pick just-right produce! But I’m still a long way from zero food waste. I appreciate your reminder and the links.

  3. It really annoys me if we waste some food item. Part of my job description (self imposed) of not going out to work, is using up leftovers and preventing waste in planning my lunch. We have a dog who is grateful for most sorry items. I make his food from chicken mince for pets, throwing in veges and sometimes aging pantry items – he loves it.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Kathryn. I used to find exactly the same about veg boxes – nice idea but you also end up with gluts of things that you don’t really like. I thought I’d eat more seasonally, but I guess I’m a creature of habit. I love that you used up those cherios; what a great result!

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