City Centre Sustainability Drive Shines Light on Food Waste

A challenge to feed a thousand people with the amount of food one family throw away in a year will kick-start a week of sustainability activities in Worcester.

The Feed the 1000 event is part of the first Worcester City Go Green Week, which will see a host of activities in the City centre aimed at highlighting things we can all do to reduce our carbon footprint.

The University of Worcester has joined forces with Worcester City Council, Worcestershire County Council, the city’s Business Improvement District (BID) and the Heart of Worcestershire College to bring about the venture, which runs April 18th to 22nd.

Events will be held throughout the week, predominantly at the Guildhall and CrownGate Shopping Centre, in conjunction with local businesses and organisations, with the help of University students, who have played a key role in its organisation.

They will showcase themes of sustainability such as food and health, nature and biodiversity, reuse and recycle, energy and travel.

Feed the 1000, at the Guildhall, from 10am to 3pm, will offer free samples of food to the public, along with advice on how they can save money and shop and store food smarter in a bid to reduce the £13billion worth of food discarded unnecessarily in the UK each year (figures from waste and recycling advisory body Wrap).
There will be sustainability fairs on April 19th and 20th.

Other activities include interactive art, advice on improving wellbeing, a sustainable transport session, including cycle security help from police, a compost demonstration, arts workshop and a health walk and meditation session at The Hive.

Alongside litter picks throughout the week, there will be a large-scale community litter pick on Thursday (April 20), from 3pm to 4pm, starting from the HOW College fountain.
Discarded cigarettes collected will be recycled for free by TerraCycle.

The week will end on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22nd, when the public will be asked to write their pledges towards going greener on a sustainability tree.

Marks and Spencer is running a clothes drive Wednesday to Friday, 10am to 2pm, giving a voucher for donated clothing.

Cafes – Wayland’s Yard, Francini Café de Colombia and Coffee#1 – will offer discounts when customers bring in reusable mugs.

Residents can get stamps for attending events on a loyalty card and, once completed, they get a prize and are entered into a draw to win prizes donated by local retailers.

The University of Worcester’s Director of Sustainability, Katy Boom, said: “This is a truly international project with students from the USA, France and Germany, alongside the University of Worcester students from a range of courses all helping to promote sustainability in the city.  They have worked very hard to bring together a range of fun and engaging activities as well as putting across 10 simple steps we can all take to live our lives more sustainably.  The students will be monitoring the effectiveness of their activities so we can see just what a difference this has made.”

Emma Stuart, Waste Prevention Project Manager for Worcestershire County Council, said: "It is incredible that a thousand people can be fed on the volume of food that is thrown away unnecessarily by a family.  Most families do not realise how much they are throwing away and just by storing food more carefully, paying attention to use by and best before dates or using what you have in your fridge and cupboard to rustle up a meal, you can save up to £700 a year.  You will also reduce the amount of food that the County Council has to dispose of, which currently stands at about 37 per cent of the waste collected in the county.”

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