Limerick Voice reporter, Andrea Sheehan spoke with food and sustainability blogger Isabel Connors (@Isabowlful) to find how to be more sustainable and reduce waste for Limerick Waste Awareness Week.
Limerick Waste Awareness Week (23 – 27 November) encourages citizens to be more conscious of the amount of waste they produce and to look at ways to cut it down by reducing, reusing and recycling.
Reusing Vegetable Peels and Fruit Cores
When preparing vegetables for a meal there is often a large amount of waste from cores and peels. One trick to reducing your food waste is freezing these waste scraps in a bag, adding to the frozen bag every time you have scraps until it is full.
Once full, you can boil the scraps in a slow cooker or pot for a really fragrant and fresh vegetable stock that can be used in variety of dishes.
Not only does this greatly reduce the waste from cooking but it also saves on using pre-packaged stock which can produce a lot of plastic waste, and it’s free!
Jars and Containers for Storage
Leftover jars can be saved and reused for storing, freezing or bringing to shops that will refill them with grains, herbs, spices and coffee etc. This saves on a lot of plastic waste and is often cheaper than buying new produce.
Shop in Season
One of the biggest way to reduce food waste is shopping in season. The StopFoodWaste website shares all the foods that are in season at any given time.
The site also provides information about buying locally-sourced produce in Ireland which can be a lot more environmentally friendly than buying imported foods.
Avoid Buying Unnecessary Packaging
Taking note of foods that don’t need to be bought in packaging can save a lot of plastic waste. Many fruits and vegetables that come in their skin don’t require packaging; bananas, lemons and limes, beetroot and butternut squash.
Try to avoid packaging on these as much as possible. Buying non-perishables such as grains and pasta in bulk can reduce plastic waste also as a larger bag will last much longer.
Consider Sustainable Hygiene Products
In terms of hygiene products there are many ways we can incorporate sustainability into our every-day lives to reduce waste and be more environmentally friendly.
Buying reusable cotton pads that can be washed instead of throwing them out after every use or reusing old cotton clothes is both cost-saving and reduces waste.
Using a menstrual cup as an environmentally-friendly alternative to sanitary products save substantial amounts of plastic waste every month and also more cost-effective.
Follow Isabel on Instagram for more tips on sustainable living and find out how you can do more for the environment.