Why we took action to influence people to live more sustainably...
The facts (thanks to WRAP)
Each year 6.6 million tonnes of household food is thrown away. This costs an average family with children around £60 a month. 70% of this is food that is still edible. The carbon associated with this food is equivalent to that generated by 1 in 5 cars on the road
The action we took
In April 2020 Sustainable Merton, Merton's local environmental charity, decided to take action and set up Merton’s First Community Fridge. Our aim was to influence behaviour change and get the community working together to reduce food waste and support those living in food poverty.
Over 9 months we have...
Supported 128 unique families (many of whom attend weekly), including 120 children
Collected 67 Fareshare Go donations from local supermarkets
Saved 8,356kg of food (equivalent to 20,025 meals and 26,729 kg of CO2)
We now have 30 Fridge Friends, who have contributed 500 volunteer hours over the past 9 months.
In September 2020 we were also pleased to extend the Community Fridge Network to 3 other locations in the borough - Commonside Development Trust in Mitcham, the Wimbledon Guild in Wimbledon Town Centre and the Polish Families in Colliers Wood, together with our Fridge in Morden Baptist Church.
How does this make me feel?
I am so pleased we took action when we did - it was a difficult decision because we opened during the first lockdown. I know that we are influencing people’s behaviour to make a difference and that we have made a difference and will continue to do so.
I hope you will think about where your food comes from. If we buy local produce, buy food in season and think how long it takes to grow or be produced, we can all reduce the unnecessary food waste that is currently part and parcel of acceptable everyday life.
By Diana Sterck
CEO, Sustainable Merton
Find out more and get involved: sustainablemerton.org/loving-earth