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Lifelong Learning Centre

Greening the LLC

Posted on Monday, 12 August 2013 at 6pm
by Lifelong Learning Centre Staff.
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Encouraged by the NUS Green Impact scheme, members of the Lifelong Learning Centre recently took part in a successful (and enjoyable!) food swap. Green Impact helps departments to reduce waste and energy consumption, increase biodiversity on campus, and raise awareness of sustainability amongst both staff and students, and a food swap is a great way to reduce wasted food.

The process is very simple – unwanted food is brought in and wanted food is taken home. For example, after an ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful attempt at baking I had a store of ingredients which I knew would not be used before they went out of date. I was glad to know that they’d be used – not left at the back of the cupboard to eventually end up in the bin. I went home with items I will definitely consume, and probably very soon.

An incredible amount of energy, water and packaging is used in food production, transportation and storage, which all goes to waste when we throw food away. But it is very easy to end up with waste food – buy one get one free offers, forgetting the food we have in our cupboards, not really knowing what to do with leftovers, as well as a host of other reasons, and this means that UK households throw away an average of 7 million tonnes of food a year*. It’s great that we can play our part in reducing this.

This wasn’t a one-off event, as we will inevitably accumulate unwanted food or drink in the coming weeks and months which could go to a better home. A food swap is so simple to organise, and is a great excuse to meet up with people for a friendly chat and a cuppa. If you’d like any advice on organising your own event you can contact us at lifelonglearning@leeds.ac.uk or via our Twitter and Facebook pages.

*WRAP, “New Estimates for household food and drink waste in the UK” available from: http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/new-estimates-household-food-and-drink-waste-uk.

Categories: Green Impact