You're probably having 'the chat' at the water cooler this week. Perhaps you've started calling your mates to muster up ideas. If you're super organised, you've already Googled "how to decide what to give up for Lent" at least twice by now.
For 40 days from 1st March - 13th April, the majority of us will have chosen to chuck out the chocolate, curb the caffeine, buck the booze or ignore Instagram. Brave? Sure. Something to write home about? You decide. Because after the gruelling six and a bit weeks are over, we'll get right back on our chocolate coated saddle and ride off, relatively unscathed into the sunset, fuelled by a skinny Bailey's latte, and a vintage filtered selfie to tell the tale.
But what if you could make this year's Lent one to remember? Turn it into something special and truly meaningful? Use the opportunity this year to give up a vice which will help form a long-lasting new behaviour that will have huge positive impact. Sounds a bit more Lent-like, right?
This year, let's give up binning food instead.
We throw away £13billion of food from our homes each year. That's 7.3 million tonnes! If that's not sinful enough, consider this. Most of it is not real waste and could have been eaten - a massive 4.4m tonnes to be exact. That's enough perfectly edible and usable food to fill Wembley Stadium to the brim eight times over. Eight. Times. Over.
By being more aware of our food and throwing out less, we could reverse this. According to Psycho Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, it takes 21 days to break a bad habit. Imagine what we could achieve in 40.
Anyone can take the challenge, whether you observe Lent or not. There are countless good reasons to reduce your food waste.
I have to admit that in the past I have been as guilty as the next person of throwing out bread that didn't feel soft enough, chucking out eggs approaching their use by date and binning a whole bag of salad leaves that had started to get a little squidgy. I have since learned a lot about taking better care of my food and have tried to make small efforts in my kitchen to help keep my food fresher for longer. In turn I find I'm throwing out less.
I'm pretty sure I'm wasn't alone in my lack of awareness on how to store my food. I'm also sure I wasn't alone in allowing food waste to fall behind in my priorities. And not because I don't care. I do. But life just fires so many other things at us that we get distracted.
But food waste is a very real issue and it affects every single one of us. We simply can't afford to ignore it. Not for the sake of our food, our pockets, or our planet. It must become our priority. It should just become a way of life.
The good news is that it's not too late to reverse it. Even the tiniest display of kitchen smarts can make a dent in the food waste iceberg. By just keeping to some essential basics, like planning your food and writing shopping lists for the week, storing your food correctly, using your fridge as much as possible and at the right temperature, cooking the right portion sizes, understanding food date labels and using up food you've already got at home, you'll be in fine stead to save food and money.
Give up binning food instead this Lent. Sign up to the challenge to get loads of inspirational and practical tips and ideas along the way. 40 of them to be precise.
See you on the other side...
Visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/lent to take the challenge