Along with other councils in New Zealand, Selwyn District Council is proud to support the Love Food Hate Waste campaign.

Kiwi households send over 122,000 tonnes of food waste to landfill each year. That's $872 million nationally or $563 per household.

When food ends up in landfill it decomposes without oxygen and releases harmful greenhouse gases. Wasting food also wastes precious resources such as water.

The Love Food Hate Waste website has heaps of information, tips and recipes to help you waste less food and save money.

The main reasons we throw away food and some quick tips:

Not eating our leftoversLeftovers usually get pushed to the back of the fridge because we don't feel like eating them or we simply forget about them.

  • Remember the 2-2-2 rule - you have 2 hours to get them into the fridge, 2 days to eat them or stick them in the freezer where they will last 2 months.
  • Avoid UFOs (Unidentified Frozen Objects) - label your frozen leftovers.
  • If you only have a little bit left, turn leftovers into a pie, put on top of a pizza or pad it out with extra veggies.

Overestimating portion sizes: How often do you find yourself scraping food from your dinner plate into the bin because your eyes were bigger than your stomach? Cooking just the right amount of food for you and your family is an easy way to reduce food waste.

Food not being stored properly: Smart storage keeps your food fresher for longer.

  • Fridges keep most food items fresh and safe whilst freezers can significantly extend the life of food. Things like milk, meat, bread and cheese can be frozen safely. Meat can be re-frozen after it has been cooked.
  • Not all foods keep longer in the fridge such as bananas, onions and potatoes.
  • Onions and potatoes release a gas that spoil each other. Remember to keep your onions and potatoes stored separately in a cool, dark, dry cupboard.

Confusing expiry dates on food:

  • Best before refers to quality rather than safety. It should be safe to eat food after this date but it may not be at its best. Use your senses to check the quality of the food - does it look and smell okay?
  • Use by refers to food safety. Food can be eaten and frozen up to this date but not after, even if it looks and smells okay.
  • Always follow the instructions on the packaging such as "consume within three days of opening", "refrigerate once opened" etc.

Click on the image below to download the spring Easy Choice - Family Kai Meal Planner.

Image of Easy Choice Family Kai Cookbook