Each year in Victoria households throw out 250,000 tonnes worth of food – enough wasted food to fill Melbourne's Eureka Tower. The average Victorian household throws out approximately $2,200 worth of food each year.
The environmental impact
Food thrown into your garbage bin ends up in landfill. Food in landfill breaks down in a way that can create greenhouse gases, including methane, which affect air quality and public health. When we waste food, we also waste the resources used to grow our food (water, soils and energy) and all the energy used to process, package and transport food from markets to our homes.
Avoiding food waste
Avoiding food waste in the first place is the best way to ensure you are not wasting money or resources. The Love Food Hate Waste campaign offers tips, advice and recipes to help you avoid food waste in four easy steps.
The kitchen is one place where we consume a lot of resources like food, water, oil, electricity and gas. Follow our 7 tips to an eco-friendly kitchen and lighten your home's footprint on the earth.
Use it up recipes
Avoiding food waste can be delicious! These quick and easy recipes use up the most commonly thrown out foods.
Kitchen waste (composting)
Once we've done everything we can to reduce food waste in the first place, composting is a good option for our food and garden scraps. Composting uses the natural process of decomposition to convert organic waste matter into a nutrient-rich soil you can use in your garden. Reduce landfill, conserve resources and minimise greenhouse gases by composting your kitchen waste.
The best way to deal with food waste is to not create it in the first place through buying only what you need and using up what you’ve got. But even for unavoidable food waste like peels and offcuts, there are a range of ways you can put their nutrients to good use rather than in the rubbish bin:
- Some councils have combined food and garden waste collections. Check your council website to see if your council offers one.
- Set up your own compost, bokashi bin or worm farm. There's an option for every household type. Some councils even offer discounts on equipment.
- Find a compost near you. Some councils offer community composting sites or you can sign up to sharing apps like https://sharewaste.com/
What about food packaging?
Australians throw away around 1.9 million tonnes of packaging each year – enough to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground nine times over. Packaging takes a lot of energy, water and other natural resources to produce, and packaging waste pollutes our air, water and soil. Let's reduce, reuse and recycle packaging as much as possible.
A sustainable diet
For a variety of reasons, including lifestyle and ethical choices, some people choose to eat a plant rich diet. To find out more visit the Better Health Channel.