Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Climate Week: 12-18 March and my Twitter interview #CWCuisine

 Climate Week on Twitter

Next week is Climate Week, Britain's biggest climate change campaign, which is raising awareness of the small changes we can make in working towards a more sustainable future.  I'm proud that Week 8, the finale week of The Rubbish Diet challenge will be running alongside it.

Reducing waste is a key step to living more sustainably, bringing benefits from energy saved through recycling as well as preventing embedded resources being wasted across the whole of the production and supply chain.  That especially applies to food and this will be something close to the hearts of those who are attempting the Zero Waste challenge for next week's Rubbish Diet finale.

It's great that one of the initiatives organised by this year's Climate Week campaign is Eat Low Carbon, encouraging consumers to reduce food waste, by shopping more carefully and using up leftovers, as well as other more sustainable options such as eating less meat & dairy and choosing local and season food.

I was invited by Climate Week to participate in a Twitter interview, ahead of their campaign, about my thoughts on food waste.  Here's a copy of the interview from this morning.  #CWCuisine is the hashtag used to help track discussions about Climate Week Cuisine.

Climate_Week: How did the Rubbish Diet project begin?

In 2008 I took the Zero Waste challenge.I was shocked how much food waste & other resources I’d junked

Climate_Week: I see... So what made u get interested in campaigning abt ? Why is it important to reduce our food waste?

Firstly, reducing food waste lowers the impact of methane, a GHG released from food left rotting in landfill.

Reducing food waste also reduces the embedded water & energy from farming, production, packaging & transport.

For example, according to , 2,400 litres of water are needed to produce just one burger.

Climate_Week: Wow "2400 ltrs of water for 1 burger!" Those are some powerful stats! What easy tips do u have for reducing waste?

Keep a food waste diary.Don’t buy things that regularly get thrown away & freeze unused food before use-by date

Avoid plate waste by reducing portions. Let ppl help themselves & follow ’s doggy bag campaign

Climate_Week: Those are some powerful & EASY tips. What do u think the government can do to encourage ppl to cut back on waste?

Local government is doing a great job with the campaign but more could be done via schools.  

The is leading a Food Waste Heroes campaign & this should be adopted by every UK school.  

Climate_Week: So motivate & mobilise the public much as possible then. Does reducing your food waste have any economic benefits?

Absolutely, the story about my accidental ornamental melons shows how I saved £300 alone.  

And on average, households could save around £50 a month by reducing food waste  

Climate_Week: So we can all save a pretty penny then! What’s ur favourite recipe from the website & why?

Oooh it has to be the Turkish Roasted Veg from ’s Phil Vickery. Great for spicing up British veg  

Climate_Week: has given our EatLowCarbon action some great recipes for using up leftovers.Do u know of any other such rec sites?

My favourite sites are ’s monthly challenge, and

I hope you enjoyed the interview and the challenge of me trying to squeeze my usual verbosity into 140 character answers.  It was fun.
More information about Climate Week can be found at www.climateweek.com. There are some great recipes in the Eat Low Carbon section, including a competition to register your own.  Live updates about the week can also be found by following @Climate_Week.


just Gai said...

It's been a while since I last read your blog and I hate to mark my return with a negative comment (thankfully not directed at you personally).

I was intrigued by the idea of a climate week and followed your link to take a closer look where I was horrified to discover that it is sponsored by Tesco. Supermarkets are by their very nature unclimate friendly. They source food from all over the world, some of which is produced at the expense of local agricultural practices and much of which is air freighted in. Their goods are transported long distances from supplier to distribution centres to stores. Goods are overpackaged, in packaging that is often not widely recyclable. Customers are enticed by special offers to buy more than they need which then ends up in landfill sites. Shoppers are encouraged, if not obliged, to drive to their stores. The proliferation of stores in all shapes and sizes is leading to the disappearance of local high streets and the fragmentation of local communities. I could go on. None of this is very sustainable.

I appreciate that national campaigns need sponsors to promote their cause but when the conflict of interest between the two is so great I wonder who suffers most. I suspect it is the message.

I would suggest that one step towards preventing climate change would be to cut down on or even stop shopping in supermarkets, but that would not go down very well with Tesco.

As someone who has campaigned tirelessly against waste and whose views I greatly respect I would be grateful for your comments.

PS I've just noticed that other supporting partners include Nissan. Don't get me started on cars!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Just Gai,

Oh yes,I totally hear you and am with you all the way down the line. It's a conflict that is constantly on my mind too, having personally switched to local shops and markets and using my local, much smaller town-based supermarket for what I hope are only well planned & well chosen top ups.

But with this in mind, I know society is greatly split and for many reasons, supermarkets still retain a huge power of influence over the marketplace.

This puts them in a position of control over messages to consumers.

My personal support is for Climate Week and the localised shopping, seasonal choices and waste reducing messages that the campaign is putting out.

I may be an unstoppable optimist, but I hope that the passionate campaigners who want to see critical change can engage with these giants to influence business practice, even if it is impossible to stop their growth.

The latter requires change and pressure at a different level.

And I believe that will come.

Also next week I am attending a pre-bill hearing in parliament, that's being presented by an MP who is passionate about making the retail sector become more accountable and change its ways about waste and sustainability.

It will be interesting to see the outcome.

I hope that helps clarify my thoughts, even if sometimes it feels like I'm wading in mud.

just Gai said...

I appreciate what you say and am convinced that your own involvement is entirely honourable. But I still believe that Tesco's association with Climate Week undermines the campaign's credentials.

Tesco have quite rightly set themselves a number of targets. However, while we wont know how realistic these are for some time, in the meantime their sponsorship of Climate Week will allow them public endorsement that I don't believe they, or their fellow supermarket chains deserve.

Almost Mrs Average said...

And I can't help but agree. I think there is plenty of scope for companies to sponsor without branding. That would be the ultimate in CSR and philanthropy without explicit associated advertising. I would love to see companies taking a lead.

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