UK households waste 6.5 million tonnes of food every year, 4.5 million of which is edible at a cost of £14 billion. By being clever with our menu choices for the week, savvy storage ideas and using up leftovers, the average family of four can save £60 a month (or £720 a year) by reducing the amount of food they throw away.

In addition to the benefits to our pockets, 25-30% of global carbon emissions are created by growing and producing food alone so reducing food waste also helps our planet.

How to Store Food to Prevent Waste

We are all guilty of wasting food but did you know that 25% of food wasted in UK households is due to cooking, preparing or serving too much? This costs us £3.5 billion a year. So being savvy with our food can prevent waste and save us money, not to mention the benefit to the environment. About 6%-8% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced if we stop wasting food.

Here are some ideas to get you started…

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Veganuary 10th Anniversary

2023 is the tenth anniversary of Veganuary, a month during which people don’t fast entirely, but simply commit to just eating plants.

The vegan organisation GenV was started by Matthew Glover who also came up with the increasingly popular idea of Veganuary.  GenV doesn’t take donations from the public but has a number of celebrity supporters, notably Joanna Lumley and Paul McCartney whose wife Linda famously pioneered the vegetarian food market in the UK.  GenV currently has a poster campaign in Westminster to encourage MPs to consider more compassion in farming as currently almost three-quarters of the animals we grow here for eating are actually confined in factory farms.  An anonymous donor gave them a million pounds for this London poster campaign.

In contrast to GenV hoping to persuade the government to legislate, the Vegan Land Movement are making changes out in the fields. A Horsham friend explained to me that this community interest company has several goals, one of which is to reverse the incredible biodiversity loss in the UK.   It raises money through its public Crowdfunding website and has just been able to buy its fourth plot of land in an already polluted area.  The Government Food Report says, “Domestic production faces a number of risks, including soil degradation, drought and flooding.”  Last year the Vegan Land Movement helped mitigate this by planting hundreds of native trees including willow, maple, wild cherry, oak and birch to help restore the soils and therefore the wildlife.

Some larger land owners are paid to re-wild parts of their land, but sadly there are no checks in place to see if this actually occurs.  Would it be better for us to support our small organic farmers instead and crunch on local carrots, caulis and cabbages?

Naomi Hallum, the chief executive of GenV, explains that millions of acres could be freed up for nature corridors as although over 70% of UK land area is used for agriculture, the majority of it is grassland for grazing rather than crops.  Because plants grow quickly, we would only need about 16% of this land to grow our food if we became plant-based eaters.  The UK has lost more of its wildlife than most countries, (we’re now in the worst 10%) and the main reason for this is land use change from wild land to fields.

So enjoy your veg to do your bit for the planet this month! To find out more about Veganuary or trying some vegan recipes, go to

By Morag Warrack


Vegan cake

Horsham Vegan Market (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Vegan cake

Pires Place Vegan Market is conveniently placed in the centre of Horsham in Piries Place.  It’s a regular event and takes place on the last Saturday of each month from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

Featuring up to 16 stalls, the vegan market offers tasty cold food varying from plant-based artisan ‘cheeze’, pies and savouries through to the most delectable cakes & sweet treats, with some gluten-free options of course!  There is a hot food stall each month, often hotdogs (vegan of course!), and a new-comer offering a range of freshly made vegan pizzas.  You will also find non-food stalls at the market selling anything from make-up and body care through to eco-friendly household goods and gifts, all of course, completely vegan and not tested on animals.

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Food waste

Taste or Waste? (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Food waste

I recently listened to a Sustainable Squad podcast (Listen to this episode now on @spotify and @applepodcasts) with Shane Jordan, who became a chef by chance because of his involvement with Food Cycle, collecting unwanted food from shops by bicycle then taking it to be cooked at a Sussex community centre. In his book, Food Waste Philosophy, he explains that he uses every edible part of plants in his cooking, including banana skins.

I was struck with his passion and ingenuity.  Another inspirational example is Horsham chef Lenny Salsano, who works at Hill Top Primary School in Crawley.  Pre-pandemic, he engaged the pupils in planting, growing and cooking the food used in their lunches.  Lenny is keen for the children to learn how important it is to eat fresh, unprocessed food, and shares his skills with pupils.  This year they have made salads, chopped vegetables and watched him make bread, which they then eat.  Five other schools under the Caterlink umbrella are now using Lenny’s model.

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Refill is the new Recycle

I’ve always considered myself to be a bit of a greenie, I recycle after all! However, last month I took part in The Big Plastic Count organised by Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic. The aim was to count my plastic packaging waste over the course of a week and record it as part of a nationwide study to understand how much plastic waste we are creating in the UK. 

We already know that we’re using too much plastic. The UK produces more plastic packaging per person than almost any other country in the world – only the US is worse. And if things carry on as they are, the amount of plastic waste produced around the world is set to double by 2040.

So could the answer to our plastic problems be refill?


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Seeds and Spring into Spring (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Did you make it to the Transition Horsham Seed Swap last weekend, at the Kinder Living Home Show? If so, you will know that there was seed available from local allotmenteers, gardeners and Garden Organic … as well as a lot of talk about how things grew last year!

If you missed it – never fear!  Come to the Seed Swap Part 2 at the Spring into Spring event on March 26th at Sussex Green Hub.

Some of the growers are members of the Horsham District Seed Circle, (launched during lockdown 2021.) And Transition Horsham distributed seed from Garden Organic to Seed Circle members and asked them to grow it with as little impact as possible. Each grew different crops, used the produce, then saved some seed to bring back to Seed Swap 2022.

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HUb Logo

February green events in Horsham

HUb LogoDon’t forget this Saturday it is our Sussex Green Hub event at the URC Horsham RH12 1PT (near Wilko off West Street and the Lynd Cross pub and opposite  St John the Evangelist). This collaborative community event is on the last Saturday every month 10 – 4pm, this month we have some extra activities within the hub and just outside. Free food and free advice to help people, planet and pocket!

Horsham Repair Cafe repairs and our bottle refill service.

Carbon Clinic – every month going forward a new volunteer, Christian based at our Sussex Green Living (SGL) display area, is offering a carbon clinic. People are invited to sit and have a friendly non judgemental chat about their lifestyle choices, he will run through a survey with them, then he emails the participant with ideas for changes they can make to reduce their impact on the environment. Please make time to chat to Christian yourself, you will hopefully get a few new ideas. Learn more here.
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Wow No Cow! by Keir Hartley (first published in West Sussex County Times)

If you are reading this column, there’s a good chance that you have an urge to do ‘the right thing’. You’re the sort who’s first to help in a crisis. You were the first to raise the subject of climate change. And the first to actually do something about it! And what better first step than to start making educated choices in the way you shop? No more plastic bottles and dodgy packaging. You started shopping locally, avoiding waste, noticing how sustainable food might or might not be.  And you are right.

But it’s complicated, isn’t it?.

Take milk as an example. To produce it from a cow is incredibly destructive.  A study by Oxford University tells us that producing a glass of dairy milk results in almost three times the greenhouse gas emissions of any non-dairy milks!  It takes approximately 120 litres of water, 150 square centimetres of land and produces 0.6 kg of carbon emissions to produce one 200ml glassful.

For almond milk, however, the figures are 78 litres of water, a mere 10 square centimetres of land and 2kg of CO2 emissions.  It sounds like a no brainer, until you drill down – which is exactly what they have had to do in California! The Golden State is responsible for 80% of the world’s almond production which requires enormous plantations which slowly deplete and dry the soil. Farmers drill ever deeper to quench their thirsty crops, bringing up saltier water. This speeds up desertification, which in turn leads to fires, and the strong possibility of no more almond trees. Read more

Lets visualise Horsham in 2030 together

At our next Sussex Green Ideas online meeting, on July 21st at 7.00pm, we will be useing two books to help identify what Horsham District groups could usefully build now – and by 2030.

Chris Goodall – “What do we need to do now?” (discussed at Steyning Green Books 6/5/21 Chris explained a number of uncomfortable truths relating to food and agriculture (one quarter of the world’s emissions), travel, domestic buildings and clothing (fast fashion)

He then identified what local groups could do, focusing also on working together and making lives better. We have chosen to focus on food, agriculture and clothing in our meeting*.

In the first part, we will look at his suggestions for:

Food and agriculture – He suggested The Kindling Trust as a model of community horticulture.

Clothing. He suggested The Clothing Warehouse Ltd as a model for recycling clothes (and household textiles). And initiatives that improve sewing skills (like our Horsham Repair Cafe) and use alternatives to cotton. We are going to be joined by Karrie Mellor one of our trustees and the founder of Bags of Support, a West Sussex textile recycling initiative run for social and environmental purpose. Read more

A Fairer Easter for People and Planet

This article by Marie Allen, Fairtrade Horsham, was published in West Sussex County Times on 11.3.21

Horsham has been a Fairtrade town since 2005 and we are lucky to have so many shops and cafes which offer Fairtrade products, giving farmers and producers a better deal. Fairtrade Fortnight, which ended on March 8th, had Climate Justice as its theme this year, reflecting the importance of climate change for farmers in the developing world. Many of them are already seeing its impact in droughts, crop disease, floods and heatwaves.

Fairtrade and Climate Justice

Fairtrade means that farmers and producers receive a fair price for their products and that they have safe working conditions. In addition, they receive a Fairtrade premium which they can choose to spend as they see fit. Fairtrade farmers and producers adhere to a set of environmental protection standards and they are encouraged to learn about environmentally friendly practices. Many spend their Fairtrade premium on measures to alleviate the impacts of climate change.

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How We Can Enjoy the 12 Rs of Christmas

West Sussex County Times our weekly column – 10.12.20 by Karen Park, Horsham Eco Churches

Here’s a chance to think about how we can enjoy a greener, more sustainable Christmas!


Read the full article below.




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Horsham Eco Churches Connect to Nature

Horsham Eco Churches

Horsham Eco Churches was set up by Silver Eco Church Award winning St Mark’s Church and Brighton Road Baptist Church through Horsham Churches Together (HCT). We encourage and inspire other churches on their Eco Church journey, and seven other HCT Churches have already registered with A Rocha UK’s Eco Church award scheme.

Covid-19 marks a threshold to a very different future, Horsham Eco Churches continue to work in partnership with local sustainability groups, promoting local initiatives and raising the profile of environmental issues in our congregations and community. Many are living in fear, but churches and community groups can help people find out what they can do and together we can make a difference, caring for each other and God’s wonderful world.

Read Horsham Eco Churches News.

Dr William Bird GP, on BBC Breakfast on 24th October, talked about how the current COVID-19 restrictions affect how people are feeling, he advised: “Ration your news, don’t listen to the news all the time.” With 24-hour news, social media and news notifications we can easily be bombarded with too much news. To help us get through the winter his advice also included: get day light, connect to nature, exercise every day, eat fruit and vegetables, connect with people, look up old friends, get new hobbies, learn new things, help others and be thankful. If you are struggling in any way please reach out to friends, family, your GP, Foodbank, church and others for support.

In this blog written for Sussex Green Living we explore some ways you can connect to nature, have fun, help wildlife, yourself, and other people. Read more

Food and community resilience

On Tuesday the 15th of September, we had a very interesting talk from Adam Stark from The Food Resilience Project in Cootham. Adam teaches religion and philosophy at the Weald School, and is a self-published writer as well as an environmental campaigner, along a list of other accomplishments. The evening started with a movie trailer shown by Carrie Cort, called “The Need To Grow”, a stark environmental documentary film emphasising that “we need to stop playing games and start saving the planet” because to “not take care of our planet [is] no longer an option”. With that setting the stage for the importance and difficulty of maintaining our food systems in the face of the global and climatic changes we are seeing, we moved into hearing about Adam’s initiative. Read more

Talks about food waste and local food

Next Tuesday at 7pm the Horsham Future Forum will be listening to a talk about The Food Resilience Project at Cootham presented by Adam Stark. You can book FREE tickets to this or any other Horsham Future Forum, Youth Eco Forum and Horsham Climate Cafe events using our Eventbrite page here.
Last Tuesday’s Horsham Future Forum attendees learnt about the important work of the  Community Fridges and plans for Horsham Community Fridge, learn all about it……

How did it start?

Sarah Renfrey set up Fare Divide in 2018 with a vision to save perishable foodstuff from landfill by setting up community fridges in West Sussex to encourage healthier communities by forging partnerships with local food suppliers and make surplus food available to all without judgement or stigma.

What is Fare Divide?

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Saving money through growing and swapping food

On Saturday 18th April, Horsham Climate Cafe met for its fourth virtual meeting since lockdown began. One of the benefits of moving online during the COVID19 pandemic is the number of people able to join from further afield as we had environmentalists calling in from as far away as Ireland. With self-isolation set to continue and the weather still in our favour, the discussion focused around ‘grow your own’ as a money-and-planet-saving way to stay connected to nature during this time.

Food Waste – the big picture

Ok, hands up, who has ever thrown a banana skin in a bush after a picnic? Maybe chucked an apple core out of the window of your car whilst travelling down a quiet country road? I expect a few people have done this in the past. And why not? It’s biodegradable, right? Whilst this may horrify those who see it as littering, food waste is often considered ‘harmless’ to the environment, as it rots down and is eaten by detritivores or passing wildlife. At the worst it is considered unsightly or foul smelling for a short time. Read more