After it was revealed that London households produced an estimated 900,000 tonnes of food waste each year, Merton and Lambeth Council have joined a food sustainability campaign aimed at changing this figure.
The boroughs are two of the first in London to unveil a range of activities to stop communities wasting food, including the use of 3D images of food in locations around the boroughs.
While the campaign will teach people how to become wiser with their cooking and diet, it all starts with the community making changes themselves.
“We want to help everyone in our amazing capital city make small, achievable changes that will make a big difference to their health, pockets and the planet,” said Charlotte Henderson from the Small Change, Big Difference campaign.
Both councils have joined the campaign, an initiative funded by the Life Programme of the European Union which aims to reduce the enormous amount of food waste in London.
Wimbledon College of Arts has created raw food photography to promote sustainable eating, while residents in Lambeth will see cinema advertising about the campaign.
Both councils have also encouraged the community to come together to share food tips online.
Ms Henderson added: “There has been great build up and excitement around all our events, which has really raised awareness around the issue of food waste and got people talking about it.”
She added: “The local residents of Merton and Lambeth have been engaged in all of our activity.
“Our events showed people how simple ideas and small changes can reduce the environmental impact of the food we eat, as well as save money and make people healthier.”
Not only will these changes benefit the environment but they will also help save money.
Londoners currently spend £1.4 billion on food each year, with councils paying around £50 million to dispose of the waste food.
Moreover, the campaign estimates that the average family could save up to £60 per month through changing the way they shop, store and prepare food.
“This campaign shows that simple ideas and small changes can reduce the environmental impact of the food we eat, as well as save us money and make us healthier,” said Merton Councillor, Ross Garrod.
If successful after it’s two-year period, Ms Henderson hopes to broaden the project to not just the rest of London but other European cities.
She did, however, acknowledge that it has been difficult to manage the interest in the project while also broadening their reach.
Ms Henderson said: “We’ve seen amazing levels of commitment from those who’ve been working on it so far – the energy and time they’ve put into delivering such a wide range of activities locally has been really inspiring.”
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