"Willful waste makes woeful want," as the old saying goes. Use your resources wisely and you'll save yourself from wanting -- and needing -- more than you can provide.
A new report in Britain quantifies the amount of food and drink wasted by consumers in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that 8.3 million tons of food and drink waste is generated by British households every year -- much (approximately two-thirds) of it avoidable. Often, the study found, people either cooked, prepared and served too much or didn't use the food in time.
To put this waste in perspective, the report put monetary values on the wasted food:
"To purchase the avoidable fraction of the food and drink waste would cost people in the UK a total of £12 billion per year, an average of £480 per household per year."This is roughly equivalent to every American household buying and then throwing away $800 worth of food every year.
Experts say there are a few simple rules to follow to help cut down on how much food we waste.
- Plan your shopping carefully -- come up with meal plans and grocery lists and buy only what you know you will use.
- Be aware of what's in your kitchen, refrigerator and pantry and use things up before their expiry dates.
- Make sure your refrigerator is set to the right temperature and seals properly and be mindful of what food can be frozen for use later.
- Compost your organic waste, rather than sending it to the landfill.