Blog: How your fridge temperature can help save the planet

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Love Food
Hate Waste
What To Do
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For food’s sake – stay cool!

The ultimate heartbreak: going to put milk in your tea and finding it’s gone off.

For a nation of tea (and coffee!) lovers, there’s nothing worse than having your brew ruined by sour milk. And it might shock you to hear that, in our homes, we waste the equivalent of 3.1 million glasses of milk every single day!

The main reason? We simply don’t use it in time.

Luckily, there is a quick and easy thing we can all do to keep our milk fresher for a little longer, as well as all our other chilled foods. All you need to do is chill the fridge out!

Food survives at under 5

When was the last time you checked your fridge temperature?

It’s not number one on most people’s to-do lists, but it can prevent food from being wasted – saving you money as well!

Less than half of UK adults know the best temperature to keep the fridge at, so at Love Food Hate Waste we’re on a mission to help you all keep your cool.

Millions of UK fridges are set too warm for all of our fresh foods. Dialling down to below 5⁰C means your food stays safe and fresher for longer, giving you more time to enjoy your milk, veggies, yoghurts, apples, smoothies, cream cakes, and tomatoes.

One of the main reasons why we waste food is because we don’t use it in time. Making this small but simple change can extend the life of your food by stopping it spoiling too quickly!

Many of us also keep some foods at room temperature, when they will actually last longer in the fridge. Apples and tomatoes are key examples – these both last longer when they are nice and chilled! Just remember to bring your tomatoes out a few minutes before eating to enjoy them at their best. Our food storage A–Z has plenty of information on where’s best for all your different foods.

Not sure how to check or adjust your fridge thermometer? You’re in luck – we can help! Our handy Chill The Fridge Out tool can show you how to master your fridge temperature in seconds.

Good for your pocket and the planet

Checking and changing your fridge temperature to below 5°C – and storing everything in the fridge that should be in there – could stop up to 70,000 tonnes of food from ending up in the bin every year.
But it’s not just the food you’ll be saving. Those 70,000 tonnes of food are worth £160 million, meaning every household has money to save by chilling the fridge out!

On top of that, saving all this food from the bin would stop roughly 270,000 tonnes of C02e being emitted every year. So, by keeping an eye on your fridge temperature, you’re really taking action against climate change. Globally, wasting food creates six times more greenhouse gas emissions than aviation, so wasting less by keeping your fridge cool is a big positive act for the planet.

But, does running your fridge at a lower temperature have an impact on energy use, which could be just as bad for the planet? According to our research, it’s actually still a good move, so long as all your fruits and veggies are stored correctly. The reduction in food waste and emissions from chilling your fridge out – and perfecting your food storage game! – more than offsets any increase in energy and emissions.

Saving money and doing your bit for the planet – win-win!

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