Grow It Yourself - September

Tips For Reducing Food Waste 

The benefits of growing your own food are endless. Not only can it improve your health and save you money, but it is also a fantastic way to reduce your food waste. In Ireland, there are over one million tonnes of food waste disposed of every year and around 1/3 of this comes from households. Here are some of our top tips and you can also find more information at 

Change Your Shopping Habits

To begin, you can start with your shopping habits – the next time that you go to the supermarket, be conscious, and look out for these few things:
1. Shop Smart: Make a list before you go shopping and stick to it, plan your meals and how much you will need and don’t stray from it. This is fundamental when trying to reduce food waste. Also, when you are actually in the store, pick up your fresh produce last.
2. Don’t forget to eat before you go: This one is easier said than done! But if you eat before you do your shopping you rare likely not to over-buy (something that we are all capable of!).
3. Try to buy loose fruit and veg: This is for obvious reasons – you only need to buy as much as you are going to use. You should find delicious local produce at your local food markets. You can find your nearest market with NeighbourFood.


By composting at home, you reduce the need to collect, process, treat, and/or dispose of biodegradable materials. This saves landfill space and the fuel needed to move things around.

Make Your Own Compost: Here’s how to make great compost for your veggie patch using two of the great waste creators in the home and garden - newspapers and grass cuttings. Build a heap (the ground surface area should be 1m by 1m) of alternating 30cm layers of crumpled newspaper and grass cuttings. Allow the heap to get quite tall - 4-6ft - and then leave it to rot down for a year.

Watch Mick and Karen give their top 4 composting tips from our TV Series GROW COOK EAT here

Change Your Kitchen Habits

1. Preserve food: Produce doesn’t have to be tossed just because it’s reaching the end of its peak. Soft fruit can be used in smoothies; wilting vegetables can be used in soups, etc. And both wilting fruits and veggies can be turned into delicious, nutritious, juices, Chutneys & Jams. Fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut are not only good for your gut but are also another great way prevent wasting food.
2. Practice first in first out “FIFO”: When unpacking groceries, move older products to the front of the fridge/freezer/pantry and put new products in the back. This way, you’re more likely to use up the older stuff before it expires.
3. Eat Leftovers: Pack them for work or school for a free packed lunch. If you don’t want to eat leftovers the day after they’re cooked, freeze and save them for later.
4. Grow your own food: Growing greens prevents food waste, saves money and is an excellent way to get a taste for GIY (Grow it Yourself). We recommend starting with lettuces and herbs – two of the most commonly wasted food that are also some of the easiest to grow! You can make growing greens even easier with our Grow Your Own Salads GROWBox which comes with everything you need to grow your own. Also everything that comes in the GROWBox is 100% compostable so you won't have to worry about any waste with this!

Get Creative In The Kitchen - Competition

The idea for this stems from our event 'The Wasted Supper Club'.

The aim of the Wasted Supper Club is to highlight the huge issue of food waste in our society and to educate each other on how we can use more of our food, root to stem as we like to say, by getting creative.

For this competition we want you, at home, to create a meal with a twist. An element of this dish MUST be created from something that you would normally deem as 'food waste' e.g. potato skins; fish bones; wind-fallen apples; lemon skin; cucumber water, celeriac skin; pumpkin flowers; pepper seeds; cauliflower leaves, etc. Get creative in the kitchen, there are so many possibilities!

You then take a picture of this meal and upload it to social media using the hashtag #HQRootToStem - you will then be in the draw to win a beautiful hamper of food waste supplies and a €100 voucher for GIY/ GROW HQ. The competition will end & the winner will be announced on Friday the 18th of September.

Meanwhile, we will post recipes ideas, food waste tips and we will be asking you your opinion on food waste. Get the whole family involved and be as creative as can be!
Best of luck - let the brainstorming begin!

Weekly Challenge
Keep a diary

Keeping a diary can highlight where you are most wasteful and you can see ways in which you may be able to reduce waste in the future.

Make your own waste tracking diary and tag GIY on socials!
Join our GIYers Facebook Group

For more growing advice we have set up a GIYers Facebook group as a place where all our GIYers can come together to share their growing tips, tricks, and troubles.

What is the GIYers Facebook Group? We have set up a new Facebook group and are encouraging all you GIYers to ask any questions and kick off discussions you might have about growing.

This group will also feature;
* Exclusive GIY resources
* Q&As

In this group feel free to:
* Answer questions posted
* Share your own growing journey & progress
* Post any tips & tricks you've learned
* Ask your own questions if you're having trouble (it happens to the best of us).

Join GIYers 

Our GROWBoxes provide you with everything you need to get growing in your home as soon as it is delivered to your door.

Gift the gift of a GROW HQ experience - our gift card can be used in our award-winning cafe, for any of our courses, and our retail shop.
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Michael Kelly is a freelance journalist, author and founder of GIY.
© GIY Ireland 2020 – all rights reserved.















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