Student savers: Aston University reduces its food waste

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We visited Aston University for a workshop to help students reduce their food waste and the university's environmental impact. We started the day by shocking the team with statistics on household waste. Once the scale of waste had been revealed, the students felt it was something they needed to share.

We talked about student life and realised there were some small but effective changes they could make:

Label knowledge: The session highlighted the differences between “Use by” and ”Best Before” and the group agreed to think more about this when shopping and using up food.

Planning: The group agreed that planning meals was key to reducing waste, especially when it came to nights out and trips to the supermarket.

Storage: Students were surprised to learn that they could make their food last much longer if it was stored in its packaging in the fridge.

Freezing: The team learned they could freeze a variety of foods, including eggs, bananas and leftover vegetables for soup.

Following their workshop, the team ran a stall at Go Green week to help students reduce their food waste. They raised awareness with posters and banners and used a “guess the portion size” activity to surprise fellow students, who were amazed to see the recommended portion sizes and admitted to throwing away leftover food, such as rice. The day was a huge success with lots of students committing to measuring food with scales, spaghetti measurers or cups. We handed out lots of leftovers recipes and students were inspired to start using up food that would have otherwise ended up in the bin.