It seems that we’re bombarded each and every day with doom-and-gloom news about the disastrous impact that human activity has on the planet and hopefully, as depressing as it is to read about, the news has helped inspire you to start making changes to how you live in order to reduce your impact.

Something certainly does need to be done on both a business and consumer level, and we all need to do our bit in order to help protect the planet.

Earlier this month (May 13th), a symposium was held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London called Step Up to The Plate, hosted by food surplus and waste champion Ben Elliot who explained that ten million tonnes of food and drink are squandered every year.

“Climate change is no longer a buzzword – we must all stand up and be counted … Businesses throw away food worth an estimated £5 billion and £15 billion is wasted from our homes (on average around £500 a year). The emissions this creates is the equivalent of every third car on the road. We simply must put an end to this,” he noted.

Those attending the symposium were asked to sign a pledge to commit to measuring and reducing food waste and inspiring others to do the same.

The pledge asks those signing it to help reduce food waste by embracing a Food Conversation week-long campaign in November this year to highlight changes that can be made, using their voice and profile to help encourage and empower citizens, particularly younger generations, and changing their individual habits to be a food value champion at both work and home, only buying what they need and making sure that they eat what they buy.

If you want to start doing your bit, there are some little steps that you can start taking today that will see the impact you have on the planet reduced immediately. Planning ahead and only buying what you need is advised, since shopping with no plan or when you’re hungry means you buy more than you might need.

Try to eat your leftovers and think about making meals you can take with you so you don’t need to buy more food when you’re not in the house.

Making good use of your freezer can also really help since food will stay edible for longer. If you love your seafood, for example, bear in mind that seafood is often frozen before it hits supermarket shelves before being thawed and then put out. This means it only stays fresh for a couple of days but if you buy frozen seafood, you can just put it in the freezer and extend its shelf life.

And don’t forget the power of your blender – just because something has passed its sell-by date or perhaps isn’t as pretty to look at as other produce doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat it. Simply blend it up and make a delicious smoothie out of old fruit and veg. You’ll be healthier into the bargain!

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