How much food do we waste each year

We look at how much food we waste during COVID when everyone is home. Restauranteurs are throwing out tonnes more food and some of them are giving it back to the homeless and those that have lost their jobs.

In America alone, $50 million more is spent on food according to Food and Wine.

They predict that the food wastage problem will get worse because there are not enough workers to harvest the crop and restaurants don’t know what to do with the leftover food that’s been sitting in their stores for a long time.

It’s important during the COVID that we do not waste food in the household as there is a lot of food insecurity going on at the moment. And it’s important that we do not hoard food.

Simply if you have some leftover pantry goods that you don’t want to use and it’s unopened: why not give that to someone in need? These days there are more people in need since almost everyone has lost their jobs. Due to COVID, people cannot go dumpster diving anymore. Instead, they rely on charities and these charities need your support to survive and thrive post-COVID. You can donate to them online and then they can buy the food for the poor.

If you have food in the fridge that needs to be eaten, why not make another meal out of it (ie plain pasta)?

If you can please support your favorite restaurant or cafe. They are doing it pretty tough and they would love for you to eat their food! Why not make a date night at home as most places have special date night packs and they advertise it on Instagram and Facebook

We hope that in years to come the rate in which food is wasted will be dropped. But that might be a while yet.


How to dispose of masks properly

Ever since the mask law was mandated here in Melbourne, people are just dumping them all over the place in the park and elsewhere. They are meant to be single-use masks but they should be disposed of properly.

Why is it bad and illegal to dump them all over the ground like this?

It is bad for both the environment and humans for the mask to be dumped like that. A human could step on it and come into contact with it and then there is 50% chance of them getting the virus. Moreover particles from the mask goes into the air making it likely for people to catch the virus.

It is bad for the environment because many birds, wildlife and sea animals think that its food and then they choke on it and they starve to death. Our wildlife is almost in extinction and this is one way to increase that risk.

There should be really hefty fines for people that do that sort of thing, higher than the littering fine.

How to dispose of them?

In the park, there are many bins. Around the bin area, many councils offer dog poo bags. You can use these dog poo bags to put your mask in and then you need to tie it tightly so that germs do not escape. And then you dump it in the bins provided.

Otherwise when you are at the supermarket you should take more plastic bags at the produce section and remember to take them with you everywhere you go. It’s the same as before.

If you are at home follow all of the above and dump your mask into the general waste bin.

If you can’t be bothered to throw it out each time, then why not invest in a fabric mask. It is much better in terms of comfort and then you just need to wash it each time. You can machine wash them with your clothes


Plastic free July

This year trying to go plastic-free is important. Whilst we are in a COVID environment, we try not to waste plastic. The average household generates 67 million tonnes of garbage each year. About 130,000 tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans each year.

photo of plastic bottles
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

In a COVID world packaging is important but can it be done by paper or reusable plastic? We wonder what would happen if it is! In a COVID world nurses and doctors have to use a lot of gloves and face shields. So we wonder would there be such a thing as reusable gloves the public to use? The public can wash these sorts of gloves at home and then sanitize for use. The answer is yes and the Glove company has them.

There are reusable masks which are made from cloth and you can rewash everytime. But other than that no.

Speaking of masks, people have been dumping disposable ones everywhere in the park. Now that can be a biohazard for both humans and the environment alike. They contribute to landfill along with gloves. They take a long time to decompress. We are talking years.

So please for the love of the environment don’t buy disposable masks and gloves unless you really to. If you have these items and you used them, please dispose of it properly in a plastic bag or at home.


Four ways to fight food waste

I was inspired by Creative Impact group’s article. Eat Fresh and feel good has written about this issue saying that the UK wastes about 800 pounds per year per household. In Australia we waste $20 billion per year, yet we have so many poor people who could do with that food

Give away food that is usable

Pantry goods is what the poor would want. I have often given away to Ascot Vale Little free Pantry on a few occasions. The poor could do with some free food during these hard times

Get creative with your food

And use up all your leftovers when you can

Foodwise will help you there. You go there and you click on the ingredients that you have and they will help you find some recipes. Supercook is another website.

In these challenging times we have been at home lots and we have had lots of leftovers. Thus this means no spending money when you don’t need to. We have use up all of our leftovers in days.

Make use of reusable lunchboxes and other sustainable ways of keeping food in the fridge.

Many places might offer discounts for people that use reusable lunchboxes. If you bring yours in you can get a discount. You can buy them online and support your favourite business in the process

YOu can buy beeswax wraps which will last longer and will keep you food fresh for longer in the fridge. You can buy these online and support small business in Victoria. They are made out of organic cloth so it is washable.

Eat smart when you go out

For example you can try Lentils as Anything. They use fresh vegetarian and vegan ingredients to make the best meals ever.

Or if you like to go to mainstream restaurants order a kids sized meal if you have a kid’s sized appetite. And then you won’t waste so much food.


How to reduce waste when exercising

I got this idea from Keep It Simple

In 2020 sustainability is a huge issue. And more and more people are trying to be sustainable. So we have some exercise hacks to make sure that you can be sustainable.

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

At Running events

  • take your own fuel
  • Take your own reusable bottle or hydration vest
  • Say no to those plastic cups and bottles that they give you at the nutrition tables.
  • Buy nutrition supplements in bulk rather than single serve- if you buy them in bulk, it’s a lot cheaper as well. Also you don’t waste a lot of packaging.
  • Buy it better rather than new and then you throw it out after a few times. For example buy shoes that lasts about 5-6 months rather than every six weeks. And learn how to fix your own shoes with just duct tape rather than throwing it out.

Rebel Sport

Rebel Sport in Mornington now have a trade in scheme where you bring your old pair of shoes in and you buy a new pair for a bit cheaper. They recycle the old pair by making mats, floor coverings and other things

Where do you exercise

Where you exercise can have a big impact on the carbon footprint and how you get there. The farther away something is, the more that you would have to travel.

Do what works for you

  • Outside- this can be at a park or at the beach
  • Inside at the gym- if cost is not an issue for you then gym might be a great option.
  • Commuting to work or home- if you have a bike then great. Also walking from your home to work could easily work for you.
  • Incidentally- it works for some people

2012

2012 is a sci fi movie starring John Cusack. Its about the earth ending and climate change. Here they talk about the unsteady globe and the temperatures that are rising. People are forced to evacuate. There is a lot of panic.

There’s tsunamis and earthquakes and buildings falling. Its a movie about survival of the fittest and I thought it would be befitting to talk about it here since climate change is on the agenda. The movie goes for two hours and thirty minutes.

It starts off in California where Jackson (John Curtis) is a non fiction writer. He just got his first book published and people are buying it. He is divorced and Kate (Amanda Peet) is living with this surgeon Gordon who is Kate’s new boyfriend. He seems a bit self centred always talking about Jackson and putting him down. There are lots of references to dying.

The earth’s core moves a lot, but in the end most of the people survived as they were evacuated on these huge giant ships and aircraft.

So what can we learn from this movie?

  • Don’t use energy unneccessarily
  • Don’t buy single plastic things
  • We should worry about the factories that use up a lot of the earth’s resources to produce things- a lot of the fumes from the factories destroy the ozone layer
  • We should cycle, walk or use public transport more often instead of our cars- diesel fumes from the cars destroy the ozone layer

Rent it now on Youtube or you can watch it on Amazon Prime for free


The effects of urbanization on our health

As part of the Sustainable Living Festival we talk about the effects of urbanisation on our health.

As our population grows so does our carbon footprint and our land. Immigrants come from all over the world and there are more immigrants now in Melbourne and Australia. People move from the rural areas to the cities in order to find better jobs. More trees in our forests are being cut down to make way for new land and houses. This means that our biodiversity is dying. Urbanisation causes a lot of strain on our health and money and here are a few things as to why.

Air pollution

Industrialization has created a lot of air pollution. People that live in big cities tends to be exposed to a lot more pollution. People drive everywhere and this produces some of the pollution. Other pollutants can include factory fumes, dust from buildings being built and demolition. This is a health problem as we don’t have as much clean air.

Everything is fast paced as companies want things cheaper. The cost of manufacturing is high and the prices have gone up on our food supply and other utilities.

Urbanised diets

People that live in big cities tend to be exposed to a lot more junk food and food is always at their convenience. Hence this has lead to more diseases as people lack in good nutrition. In every street corner there is always a fast food joint and some of them are 24 hours, like McDonalds.

Poor people cannot afford fresh food due to monetary issues. As such our health care costs are higher due to the higher rates of obesity and mortality.

Sedentary lifestyles

Living in the city means that people sit more and move less. People also drive to everywhere rather than bike or tram it.

Development of slums

Whilst Melbourne is lucky not to have such things, other places like India and third world countries have slums where people live in because they are poor. The cost of urbanisation as well as high unemployment rates have left people poor. Hence there are more squatters and slums than ever before.

Climate change

Because of this urbanisation we have had many warmer days. The Uk has had an abnormally warm summer last year. This year we have had the hazy season due to the bushfires.


The shocking truth to food waste

We throw away lots of food. We waste about 10% of this. The average American wastes $2000 on food each year. About 40 million people in America live in food poverty. The average Canadian wastes about $31 million as shown here.

Olio will help us with this. You get to share your food with others. You get to connect with people. People offer their food and you can opt to receive it. So far there’s about 30 Olioers in the whole of Melbourne. But we have been trying to get the word out about this new free service which you can download as an app.

Sometimes they’ll offer a non food item.

Instead supermarkets all over the world should offer free food items after a certain time to those that are poor. What they could do is have those people show some sort of low income card to be able to access these. We see too many poor people in Melbourne that could benefit from some food. I know that Foodbank gets some of these donations but I think its about half of them.

Olio is a good chance for those people that have food to spare to offer it up to those that are homeless. Do sign up to Olio today if you would like to join the revolution.


Saving water and how to do it

We write about this education campaign that has been playing at the gym for some time

Melbourne has started its Target 155 campaign in order to save water. We should target 155L each day as a whole to save water.

So why save water?

Our farmers in Australia are already struggling as Australia has a drought in most rural places. Most rural towns don’t have any water and we don’t get a lot of rain down here. One day the big cities will dry up. Its just a matter of time.

So here are some hints on saving water

Take shorter showers

Use a timer when you are in the shower and time yourself. You should set the timer to about five minutes max.

Turn the water off whilst you are brushing your teeth

Use half flush when possible

Wash only full loads of clothes


Lets talk about being Environmentally conscious

A company would use lots of packaging to send products.

Annually we waste about 10000 tonnes of packaging each year and that rate keeps on increasing each year. Only a third of Australians recycle packaging according to the Guardian.

Just recently I bought a bottle of valarian online from Blackmores and then I had to pay about $8 for shipping. When it came it came in a box thats way too big for the bottle and it had all this paper around it. It was really hard to open as it had all this packaging tape around it.

And they say fragile? What the? With all this paper surely it wouldn’t break. And then more plastic wrap that I had to untangle. When I throw the plastic wrap out I’m scared that it would be blown away and some animal could eat it, choke on it and could die.

Now i would have been happier if they just put it in a satchel that’s sold by Australia Post and has the bubble wrap. Even better is if they select a number of stores that people can pick up at. The big companies such as Myer all do that! And then people don’t have to pay for shipping.

In the new year companies and consumers should be educated about packaging waste.