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Minimise food waste this Christmas

With the festive season upon us, give some thought to minimising the amount of food you waste.

Each year, Australians send four million tonnes of food to landfill – enough to fill 450,000 garbage trucks.

When food rots without air in landfill it gives off the greenhouse gas methane, which is 25 times more damaging to the environment than the carbon dioxide that comes out of your car exhaust.

Australians waste $8 billion worth of fresh food, leftovers, packaged and long-life products, drinks, frozen food, and takeaways a year.

For the average South Australian household, that equates to 20% of the food they purchase. That’s the same as just throwing away one out of every five bags of groceries you buy without even bringing it into the house.

Over a year that can be as high as around $1000 worth of food that gets wasted – that’s enough to feed the average household for over a month, and at this time of year especially if we think about being smarter about our food waste then there’s more money in your pocket and benefits for the environment.

When you throw out food you also waste the water, fuel and resources it took to get the food from the farm to your plate, so it’s not just your hip pocket that wins when you avoid wasting food, the environment wins too.

Here are some simple steps to reduce this waste:

  • Only cook what you need. Food is often wasted when we cook too much.
  • Use a website like to find out inventive ways to use leftovers.
  • Check the use-by or best before date before throwing food away.
  • Avoid buying take-aways at the last minute instead of cooking the food you already have at home.
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