With societies staying indoors, one positive outcome about the Coronavirus lockdown is our reduced environmental impact. With grounded aeroplanes, fewer drivers on the roads and reduced industrial activity, the pandemic has caused a dramatic drop in air pollution. Keeping this in mind, we must continue to think about the repercussions of our behaviour and how it affects our world. As many people turn to stockpiling food items during these times of uncertainty, here are some ways we can try to reduce our waste.

Meal plans

In normal circumstances, it can be more environmentally-friendly to purchase fresh food as and when we need them. Now, we have to keep tabs on what fresh food we have left to meal planuse everything up in time. Planning ahead is one of the key ways to ensure you use up all your fresh food. If you find yourself with extra time on your hands during self-isolation, planning your meals in advance for the week could be a lifesaver. It is the perfect excuse to sit down surrounded by your favourite cookery books, hunt for recipes online or stalk your favourite chefs to see what they’re cooking. If you’re stuck for inspiration, an app called Supercook can give you ideas based on the ingredients you have in your fridge or cupboard.

Freezing is your friend

Do you have leftovers from the night before that you are not in the mood for? If you have a freezer you can always save any surplus food when you make an extra portion or two. If you have space, bulk cooking is extremely handy when you need to whip something up quickly. Honestly, you will thank yourself one evening when you’re not in the mood to cook up something new. Also saving old (reusable) ice-cream tubs comes in handy when storing your leftovers.

Have a garden? Compost!

composting

If you have a garden space, you can turn a lot of food items into nutrients-filled compost to grow plants and crops. Whether you have vegetable peelings, eggshells or a piece of fruit that has turned, it’s great knowing your waste is being used grow future plants. If you are using a community composting scheme please ensure you adhere to social distancing when depositing your food waste. BN1 recently published a guide outlining different options of composting in Brighton & Hove.

If in doubt, blitz into a soup

If I ever have random vegetables left in my fridge or cupboard, I cut up whatever is left with onions, garlic, spices and stock and boil it down for as long as desired to create a healthy, hearty soup. If you prefer your soups smooth you can blitz the vegetables down at the end with a blender, but I think it’s just as delicious left as a broth. Not a soup fan? You can keep leftover veg or bones from meat in the freezer to use to make stock. When you have the time, you can boil these items down with some seasoning to use as a delicious stock base for meals.

Choose reduced packaging delivery services where possible

veg box

Many of us who are self-isolating will be turning to online services to safely deliver food and supplies to our door. Amazon is renowned for its protective packaging. Although some of it is recyclable, we can still do more to prevent single-use packaging when ordering online. BN1 is advising its readers to shop locally wherever they can to support local businesses in your area. Brighton & Hove has a number of fruit and veg box delivery services who drop off seasonal produce straight to your door without any plastic.