I know that I am not the only one who discovers alien life at the back of her fridge from time to time. Surely you have seen it too - something in a container that has started to look and smell as if it emerged from the primordial swamp. Something so bad that you can feel compelled to throw out the container as well as whatever was in it. I know I am not the only one because Planet Ark and Notebook Magazine have come up with the alarming statistic that each and every Australian throws out 145 kg of unused food every year. This amounts to one out of every five bags of groceries you lug home. And it is not only the landfill needed to dispose of the rubbish, but also the impact of creating the food in the first place, that is wasteful. Truly horrifying.
Notebook Magazine has launched a Stop Food Waste Campaign to prompt us all to think more carefully about how much food we buy and how we treat it once we have it. They suggest starting with an inventory of what you have in your pantry (13 cans of tuna at last count!), so you stop buying duplicates and use what you have. They also believe in menu planning, and I am with them on this as well. Once you get into the habit of menu planning, it takes the pressure off shopping and cooking, as well as cutting down on waste. I tend to sit down on Sunday nights and map out the family dinners for the week so that I can shop on Monday, and as far as possible, avoid the supermarket for the rest of the week. This little bit of planning has stopped me randomly grabbing packets of this and that with the vague (but sadly unlikely) intention of whipping something up fabulous and then throwing the food in the bin when it doesn't happen. Happily my tuna will last another few years!
My gorgeous, clever friend Patty has also started a blog called Little Green Stilettos that is mapping out how to be greener at a household level. It is pretty clear that science does not hold a silver bullet to stop or reverse climate change and environmental impacts. The onus lies on each of us at an indvidual level to do as much as we can. Patty has created a "girly girl's guide to going green" and will be nudging us all, with humour and information, to keep making changes at a household level. More power to you, Patty!