When it comes to summer salads, are you a more of an Iceberg lettuce and sliced cucumber kind of person? Or are you more adventurous, a bit of rocket, some roasted butternut squash perhaps, some spiralized courgette or maybe some caramelised red onion?
Either way, summer means big salads, side salads, BBQ salads and picnic salads, and they all involve chopping, preparing, drizzling, and discarding the outer leaves, mouldy bits, top bits, bottom bits, peelings, seeds, and sometimes the middle.
What we are saying is summer is a prime time for fresh food waste and for many, the obvious choice is to bin it. Isn’t it?
Well no, because on average more than half of the food we throw away can be eaten says the Love Food Hate Waste website, so keeping it out of the bin is good for our pockets and the planet combined. As for the salad bits that definitely won't make the salad bowl, it can all be composted.
Waste is expensive. Once anything goes in the rubbish bin, there is a cost attached to collecting and disposing of that rubbish. Composting on the other hand, doesn’t cost a penny for either the taxpayer or the local authority. So it’s a win-win – and you get great compost for free for your garden or plant pots.
Buy a compost bin from us
If you already have a bin but aren’t sure if you’re using it to its full potential, hop across to our compost A-Z page which has a huge list of things you can put in. And if you haven’t got a bin and you live in West Sussex you can buy a discounted one from us on our buy a bin page. Prices start at just £16.
Every compost bin that gets filled up is helping to keep landfill costs down, and save public money for core services like schools and libraries that need it.
Think before you throw
We know you aren't going to want to eat onion skins and carrot peelings. Those can go straight in the compost bin (although onion skins are good for putting in a stock).
But what about the bag of salad that was left to go mouldy at the back of the fridge? Or you've got some tomatoes that are going soft? Or you've made too much salad for a family BBQ and it doesn't all get eaten?
Here are some tips.
- Lettuce - once you've opened a bag of lettuce leaves from the supermarket, it will go off quite quickly. Keep it fresher for longer by wrapping the remaining lettuce in a paper towel and putting the whole lot in a storage container.
- Soft tomatoes - wash them, cut them or whizz them up in a food processor depending on what you might use them for at a later date, place the chunks or the pulp into freezer bags, and freeze them.
- Too much salad - there are a few options here. First, you can make soup - truly, with lettuce, radishes and stock. Second, with some spring onions, garlic and soy sauce, you can stir fry it. Or third, just before serving hot pasta, stir some of the salad into it. All these recipes can be found here.
- Cooked too many boiled new potatoes - the easiest thing is to slice them and fry them, or try making bubble and squeak. You just need some cabbage, kale or spinach and poached eggs on top. Recipe here.