What can you do during Food Waste Action Week?

Sheff-Yield are hosting a webinar on March 11 which will teach the Sheffield community about the advantages of growing your own food at home.

The speakers include Professor Tony Ryan OBE, who is the Director of the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, and Dr Moaed Al Meselmani. The webinar, which starts at 6pm, will focus on how to grow your own food at home and the utility of locally grown food in terms of lowering our carbon footprint and having a positive impact on the environment.

The Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures organised the Desert Garden project in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan which successfully developed low-tech hydroponic systems and trained more than 1,000 refugees in hydroponic techniques to reduce their waste problem.

The project, which started in 2017, gave families displaced by war the opportunity to grow fresh food in the desert using discarded mattresses. The refugees were living on the equivalent of less than £20 a month which was no where near enough to maintain a balanced, nutritional diet. The project also brought cultural benefits to the camp, as the desert was transformed into a colourful garden with flowers as well as enabling the refugees to take part in cultural traditions such as drinking mint tea and eating Syrian salads.

Dr Moaed Al Meselmani said: “I myself am Syrian so this project has a big impact on my personal life. It is rewarding to be able to help people from my country.

“We helped bring colour to the camp.”

Dr Moaed Al Meselmani added that there are massive health benefits to growing your own food. In Sheffield, three out of four people do not get the nutrients they need for a balanced diet. Fresh produce can be costly, which is why growing your own food is a simple way to be healthier as well as engaging with the community in projects such as community gardens.

This week is Food Waste Action Week, which means that we should all be making an effort to cut out unnecessary waste and be more sustainable. Here are some things that you can do to take part in the Food Waste Action Challenge:

  • Try composting: Getting a compost bin is a simple way to reduce up to 60 per cent of food waste in your household.
  • Leftovers Recipes: Using leftover food from the night before is a great way to reduce food waste and try some new recipes at the same time.
  • Food Bank Donations: Non-perishable foods can be donated to local food banks.
  • Zero Waste Shops: This eliminates the use of unnecessary packaging and single-use plastics.
  • Community Fridges: University of Sheffield students can donate food within its sell-by-date to community fridges at the Edge and the Ridge for other students to use.

The Desert Garden webinar is free, and you can get your tickets for tomorrows event below.


As well as the series of webinars, the Grantham Centre have posted blog articles and healthy sustainable food recipes on their webpage, which is linked below.


Written by Erin Mansell

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