Growing up in a large family, my mother had very much a 'waste not, want not' attitude which has stuck with me to this day. This is prevalent in our 100% recycled Polarfleece range for little ones - mostly made from waste plastic bottles - thereby offsetting our plastics production and helping to reduce detrimental impacts on the environment. Our JoJo clothing range is also built to last - designed to withstand the rough and tumble that comes with having children so that our lovely pieces can be handed down to younger siblings. We all do what we can to save costs and reduce harmful effects on the environment but there is more we can do, especially with Halloween around the corner.
I was shocked recently to find out that around four million pumpkins are bought in the UK each Halloween, destined for the bin when their Jack-o'-lantern duties have been fulfilled. This means 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin waste is thrown out in the UK each year - the equivalent to 1,500 double decker buses! For many, knowing what to do with pumpkin flesh is the main problem and indeed, it's easier just to throw it away.
And it's not just pumpkins. Over four million tonnes of edible food and drink are thrown away from our homes every single day. Not only is this waste (which is most likely headed to landfill) contributing to climate change by emitting greenhouse gases, families are losing out financially. According to the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), this leaves the average family £60 out of pocket each month - not a small amount in these tough economic times.
New charity Hubbub aims to reduce the amount of edible food being sent to landfill by piquing the public's interest in cooking and inspiring more of us to be a little braver in the kitchen. You needn't be a Michelin-starred chef to make delicious meals out of leftover food - all you need is a little creativity.
For our readers based in the Oxford area (or if you just fancy visiting this beautiful city) make sure you visit the Oxford Pumpkin Festival (30th October - 9th November), set up by Hubbub. There will be plenty going on, including cooking competitions, a food waste feast and cookery workshops to encourage those of us with limited kitchen skills - so there really is no excuse to throw away your pumpkins!
Do visit our blog next week - we'll be sharing some delicious recipes including the famous JoJo pumpkin soup that I dish up for the London team every year - I urge you to try making your own as it really is delicious for those chilly Autumn evenings.