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Resources by Paula Downes, a lot of music by Andrew Downes

Reducing Food Waste

Photo by OpenIDUser2 

On this page you are going to learn about the devastating impact of our food waste on our planet and what we can do to reduce it. We apparently waste 1/3 of the food produced. Not only are we wasting the food that could have fed the hungry, we are using unnecessary energy, land and water to produce and transport the food in the first place.

Song and Video

In the following video, you will hear a song about clearing your plate at meal times to avoid food going into the bin and then into landfill; which then produces methane, a greenhouse gas; which warms up the planet; endangering numerous species; melting the ice caps and causing sea levels to rise; endangering our homes and lives.

Audio only:

Andrew Downes Composer · Andrew Downes' Songs for the Planet: Reducing Food Waste

This is from a series of six songs called "Songs for the Planet" by Andrew Downes for all ages with chamber orchestra or backing track.
FREE word sheet
Purchase the Sheet Music
Watch all six songs in one video (contains counting to guide conductors in live mutimedia performances

Informative Video

Watch this video to learn more about how we waste food, the problems that causes and what we can do about it.

What can we do to reduce our food waste?

Some top tips:

  • freeze overripe bananas in little pieces: it tastes like icecream
  • don't cook too much food: measure out portions of pasta, rice, porridge, couscous
  • don't put too much food on a plate: people can always come back for more
  • freeze leftovers (that have not been on people's plates!)
  • google any items you are unsure about freezing/reheating to avoid food-poisoning: some leftovers should be eaten cold
  • buy frozen vegetables so they don't go off: they are usually fresher anyway
  • make smoothies or soups with fruit and veg that is about to go off
  • make breadcrumbs with bread crusts or bread that won't last and look up breadcrumb recipes
  • put bread in the fridge or freezer to make it last longer
  • find out if there is a council fridge near you, a place to take food that you won't manage to eat before it goes off
  • keep bananas with their stems resting in a bowl of water to keep them from ripening too quickly
  • keep bananas away from apples, since apples will make them ripen too fast
  • use apples or bananas to ripen fruits quickly if you want to eat them at a particular time
  • keep avocados, apples and pears in the fridge to stop them ripening too fast
  • join the OLIO app to share food you don't want with people who live nearby
  • put all raw fruit and veg waste into an outdoor compost bin
  • find out if you can put food waste into your green bin: some councils take it away to make rich compost
  • don't buy too much in the supermarket at once unless it is stuff that won't go off like dried pasta, tins and frozen stuff
  • plan your meals in advance so you know exactly what to buy

TASK: Think of all the ways you can reduce your food waste at home and create a pamphlet to share with friends and family.

TASK: Brainstorm as a class what you can do at school to reduce food waste. Could you create a poster? Could you ask for smaller portions? Find out what happens to uneaten food at school and campaign to get a better system.


Here is a podcast about Food Waste and Climate Change, hosted by Deliciously Ella.

Join the OLIO App!

OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from your baker, or the groceries in your fridge when you go away. For your convenience, OLIO can also be used for non-food household items too.

Join these facebook groups for more ideas:

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Resources by Paula Downes, a lot of music by Andrew Downes

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