Slim My Waste - Happy Kitchen

Do you have a happy fridge? How about a happy bin? Discover our top tips for reducing food waste and a happy kitchen.

Reducing the amount of food wasted, and making sure that any unavoidable food waste gets recycled, can have a huge positive impact on Bristol and the environment.  

Nearly 25% of the contents of an average black wheelie bin in Bristol is made up of food waste, three quarters of which is avoidable with proper planning, preparation, and storage.

If food waste can’t be avoided it should be put in the brown recycling box. Food waste collected in the brown caddy is a useful resource that is turned into compost and energy, helping to power 6,500 homes in Avonmouth.

You can help cut down on food waste in Bristol by following our happy kitchen tips.

Happy Fridge

  • Don't over-fill your fridge. Leave space for cold air to circulate, keeping food fresher for longer. 
  • Keep your fridge temperature between 0-5°C so food stays fresher for longer. 
  • Leave left-over hot food to cool down before putting it in the fridge. Hot food can raise the fridge temperature and spoil other food.
  • Organise your fridge with older items at the front so they get used up first and are less likely to be forgotten about at the back. 
  • Don’t over-prep! Chopped up meat and veg spoil slightly faster. Avoid food waste by preparing meals no more than a week in advance. 
  • The fridge door shelves are the warmest part of the fridge. Store less perishable items here such as condiments and preserves rather than things that will spoil sooner such as milk and butter.
  • Check use-by dates and plan your meals to make sure everything is used before it spoils. 
  • Meat that's about to go out of date can be cooked and stored in the fridge or freezer for a few extra days so you have more time to eat it.

    A Slim My Waste graphic that says 'don't overfill your fridge! Leave space for cold air to circulate, keeping food fresher for longer'

Happy Freezer

  • Use up excess fresh food by batch cooking meals and freezing leftovers into single portions.  
  • Keep your freezer at -18 °C or below to help frozen food last longer. 
  • Use a cheese grater to turn stale bread into breadcrumbs that can be used straight away or frozen for later. 

    A Slim My Waste graphic that says 'use a cheese grater to turn stale bread into breadcrumbs!'

Happy Cupboard

  • Organise tins and dry goods by use-by-date so you know which ones to use first. 
  • Make the most out of your vegetables by using the whole thing, peelings and all! Carrots and potato skins are perfectly edible (and tasty)! 
  • Save plastic take-away boxes to store loose grains and cereals or single portions of leftovers. 
  • Not sure what to make with the random ingredients you have left? Big Oven can help you find a recipe to use up leftovers. 

Happy Bin

  • Over 40% of the average household bin is dry recycling and food waste - give yourself more space in the bin by recycling everything possible.  
  • Put food waste in your brown food caddy to recycle it rather than putting it in your black bin.  
  • Use empty bread, cereal or carrier bags in your food waste caddy to collect food waste and keep the caddy clean.  
  • Remove the cardboard wrap from items such as yoghurt and noodle pots and sort the packaging into the correct bin, box or bag. 
  • If you have out of date pre-prepared food, empty the food into your food caddy and wash the container to be used again or placed in the recycling. 
  • Always rinse tins and other food containers before putting them in the recycling. 
  • Keep a record of spoiled food. You might discover you throw away some foods more than others. Next time you do a food shop, buy less of these items. 

Happy Growing

  • Some salad leaves and vegetables can be regrown from scraps. Here are some ideas to get you started! 
  • Garlic bulbs that have started sprouting can be planted straight into soil to give you a good crop of home-grown garlic. 
  • Onion skins can be soaked in water to create a potassium-rich feed for indoor and outdoor plants. 
  • If you have a garden or allotment you can compost raw vegetable scraps and coffee grounds to create nutritious fertiliser for your plants. Don’t compost meat or cooked foods – these should go in your brown food caddy. 

    A Slim My Waste graphic that says 'try regrowing salads, leeks and carrots from scraps!"

Help make Bristol kitchens happy: 
Click here to answer a short survey about your food waste and recycling habits.