LONDON, Feb 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Forget about
ditching chocolate, wine or other treats for Lent; environmental
activists want Britons to give up another bad habit - binning
Environmental charity WRAP says Britons throw away 7.3
million tonnes of household food every year, 60 percent of which
could be eaten - enough to fill Wembley Football Stadium eight
Every year millions of people around the world give up
treats for the 40 days up to Easter.
But WRAP's 'Love Food Hate Waste' campaign says that instead
of abstaining from chocolate, Britons should stop throwing out
food. It estimates this could save an average household up to 60
pounds ($75) a month.
"Lent is a perfect opportunity for people to challenge
themselves to give up a vice," campaign manager James McGowan
said in a statement.
"Rather than ditching coffee or chocolate that don't have
lasting change, people can bin their bad kitchen habits instead,
saving food, money and the planet."
Many people throw out good food because of confusing
"display until" or "sell by" dates on packaging, according to
They said such dates were to let shop staff know when to
take products off the shelves and could be completely ignored.
Storing food properly, better meal planning and resisting
two-for-one offers also helps reduce waste, they added.
Love Food Hate Waste says reducing the amount of food - and
packaging - that ends up in the bin not only saves money, but
helps slow global warming and deforestation.
Throwing out food wastes the water, energy and fuel needed
to grow, store and transport it, campaigners say, while
discarded food ends up in landfills where it rots, releasing
harmful greenhouse gases.
Lent, which begins on March 1, marks the days leading up to
Jesus' crucifixion when he spent 40 days and nights in the
desert being tempted by Satan. Although giving up treats for
Lent is rooted in Christian tradition many non-believers also
($1 = 0.8026 pounds)
(Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters
Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers
humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and
climate change. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories.)