One third of all food produced globally is never eaten, with a huge proportion of that food ending up in landfill. According to the charity Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), this amounts to around 9.5m tonnes of food each year in the UK alone, the production of which releases more than 25m tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, more than 7m people in the country go hungry.

There is food waste at all levels of food production. It can be spoiled or spilled at the farm or in supply chains; or wasted by retailers, restaurants and consumers. This creates a huge environmental impact. Harmful greenhouse gases are created by producing food that isn’t used, and from the food rotting in landfill where it releases more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. There’s also the waste of all the precious resources that it takes to bring that food to our plates – the land, water, energy and hard work.

While most consumer waste food goes to landfill, surplus food from supermarkets can be donated to food banks and other charities. Climate Action Stokesley and Villages (CASaV) collect and distribute food from our three local Co-ops as part of the Co-op Food Share scheme. Other schemes include community fridges and apps such as Olio and Too Good To Go.

“CASaV do a great job distributing the surplus food from the Co-ops. They deliver locally in Stokesley and Great Ayton, and also support us at Nite Light CIC,” says Nadia Gibany, who founded the group to support vulnerable people.

Nadia Gibany, Nite Light CIC

Nadia Gibany, Nite Light CIC

What else can we do to cut down food waste? These simple solutions (including suggestions from Hubbub – will also save us money when budgets are tight.

1. Planning our meals ahead so that we buy what is needed for these meals and use up everything we’ve bought. Batch cooking and refrigerating or freezing will also help us reduce waste.

2. Storing food correctly so that it lasts eg keep potatoes cool and dark so they don’t go green; bananas speed up the ripening of other fruit and veg if stored together.

3. Using our leftovers and freezing left-over cooked meals.

4. Using parts of foodstuffs that often go in our bins (and are often the most nutritious): eg cauliflower leaves can be steamed or baked with a little oil and salt until crisp, beetroot leaves can be chopped into salads.

5. For those who are able to, composting is a great way to deal with the waste we can’t use creatively eg tea bags (without plastic beads); apple cores, orange peel.

Climate Action Stokesley and Villages logo

Climate Action Stokesley and Villages logo

For further ideas, come and hear about the North Yorkshire Rotters "love food hate waste" campaign at our next meeting on Tuesday, April 18, starting at 7pm in The Globe, North Road, Stokesley. If you can’t make the meeting, you can find out where else the Rotters will be on their webpage and if you have any ideas as to how we could all reduce our waste, please contact us via

If you could support Nite Light in any way please go to @nitelightcic on social media.