The rubbish bin is no place for food. 

February 05, 2019

The rubbish bin is no place for food. 

Food waste is a BIG problem.

Did you know that:  

"79 per cent of Kiwis don't like wasting food...
but 94 per cent of us readily admit that we do" 

RaboDirect, 2017


This mind set is a problem. In fact, it's an $872 million dollar problem. We waste $872 million dollars on food every year.

It estimated that we throw-away one-eighth of every food shop.

Just imagine buying eight bottles of wine and then leaving one at the supermarket. Outrageous. 

In a WasteMINZ 2014 report on national food waste, the main reasons we waste food are:

  • We don’t eat our leftovers
  • We buy too much and can't eat it
  • Plans change so we don't eat it
  • We forget about it
  • It goes bad because we don't store it properly.

And the main culprits are:

  • Fresh vegetables (55 per cent)
  • fresh fruit  (26 per cent)
  • homemade mixed foods aka leftovers (25 per cent)

      Then there's the stuff we don't really think about.

      Did you know? 

      • Food waste produces 325,975 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.
        • To offset this we would need to take 118,107 cars off the road for one year or plant 130,390 trees. (WasteMINZ)
      • Between 1968 and 1998, world food production increased by 84 per cent, population by 91 per cent, and trade in food by 184 per cent (Landcare Reseach NZ
      • People who eat out more than three times a week waste an average of 20 per cent of their grocery shopping (WasteMINZ 2014).

      The bottom line is that we're all guilty of biting off more than we can chew.

      But, the good news is that it's completely within our control to fix this. 

      Here are some tips on how you can reduce your FOODprint on the environment. 

      • Join the Food is Free programme. Food is Free is a community-based urban gardening programme based in Wellington (where you can learn to grow your own food). For more information, head to Food is Free.
      • Meal planning. There is no need to stock up on two weeks’ worth meat, poultry, produce or dairy at once. The only products you should buy in bulk, are items that have a long shelf life (ie - anything canned, pickled or dry). Check out: Love food, hate waste for great ideas on how you can minimise food waste. 
      • You could have a go at growing your own food. That way you can grab what you want out of the garden or off a windowsill as you need it. Think fresh herbs and tomatoes for homemade pizza. 
      • You could drop produce off at a 'sharing is caring' drop and swap stand. There are some around the Wellington region: 
        • Waiwhetu Road, Naenae
        • By the library in Petone
          Fergusson Drive by the Awaken Chuch, Upper Hutt
        • Outside the doctors in Featherston
        • California Drive, near the Cannon Point car park in Totara Park.

      Looking for more ways to reduce your food waste? Don't worry we've got you covered.

      • DIY Pallet Planter for small spaces - Learn how to make small planter boxes that are the perfect home for your herbs. Especially perfect if you don't have a lot of outdoor space.
      • DIY Raised Garden Box - Make a raised garden box out of an old pallet. Ideal for those who have a back yard! 
      • DIY Worm Farm - Worm farms come in all shapes and sizes. But the ones we've covered off in the DIY Worm Farm info sheet needs to be built outside. If you are a city-slicker or don't have enough space (or don't have the time/energy to build one) then check out the humble Hungry Bin
      • DIY Composting - Composting is something we can all do. It's as simple as separating food waste from all other waste. 

      If you have some tips you'd like to share, feel free to send them to Di -



      Also in Sustainability advice

      10 Intentions for the New Year
      10 Intentions for the New Year

      January 01, 2019

      10 intentions to replace resolutions in 2019.

      Continue Reading

      Life Hack: How to not cost the earth this Christmas.
      Life Hack: How to not cost the earth this Christmas.

      November 29, 2018

      Just a casual 25 ideas/ways you can have your best sustainable Christmas yet.

      Continue Reading

      School Holiday Activities: Kids Christmas Crafts
      School Holiday Activities: Kids Christmas Crafts

      November 22, 2018

      Get them crafty and keep them busy with the Sustainability Trust's Christmas craft series for kids. A perfect school holiday activity for children aged 5-12. Hosted with sustainability in mind and courtesy of the core Wilderkids crew.

      Continue Reading

      Sign up for our newsletter

      Get Sustainability Trust's news, events and specials straight to your inbox every month