Love Essex, Love Food campaign

Discover how the Love Essex, Love Food campaign encouraged residents across the county to reduce their food waste.

What was the Love Essex, Love Food campaign?

In an effort to give Essex residents the tools and inspiration to reduce the amount of food they throw away, the Love Essex team worked in partnership with councils across Essex throughout 2023.

Why did the Love Essex team launch this campaign? 

On average, Essex households waste £60 every month throwing away food that could have been eaten. In Essex, food also makes up roughly a quarter of what we throw away in our general rubbish bins.

Not only is this a waste of money for Essex residents, but it’s also damaging to the environment. If disposed of in the general rubbish and not in the food recycling, food releases methane - a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. This is because food in landfill is usually mixed with plastic or other types of waste, making decomposition very slow and anaerobic (without oxygen), which releases this greenhouse gas.

What did the campaign achieve?

From January 2023 to March 2024 

  • we encouraged residents to sign the Love Essex, Love Food pledge, with over 1,800 pledges received.
  • we ran monthly food waste-related challenges with inspiration of how to save food from the bin. Participants were given the chance to win £60 gift vouchers, to reflect the amount of money wasted on food we buy, but don’t eat each month in Essex.
  • we published quarterly special food waste editions of the Love Essex newsletter and also featured additional information in the monthly edition.
  • the team attended local events to talk to residents about the barriers to reducing their food waste and provided ideas about what they could try.
  • we attended ‘Apple Day’ in Cressing Temple Barns, where we teamed up with zero waste chef, Tristan Welch, for an inspiring cooking demonstration. Visitors could see how easy it is to replace ingredients with what you already have at home and get creative. You can find some of these recipes on our main food waste page.
  • we teamed up with Essex influencer, Katie Cooks, to reach Essex audiences with simple advice about how to reduce waste while cooking, how to correctly store food and ideas about reusing food.
  • we produced fun videos following the journey of a humble apple who instead of being made into a wide variety of foods, was chucked in the bin.

Our food waste videos

'What a Waste' shows the story of an apple that instead of being eaten, was thrown away...

Watch 'What a Waste'

A sequel to 'What a Waste, in ‘Apple-y ever after’, the bruised apple is not thrown in the bin, but becomes something else...

Watch 'Apple-y ever after'

Feedback from some of our challenge participants:

"I was surprised at what I was throwing away just from poor organisation. Used my freezer more and learnt more about what can be frozen." - James, North Weald

"Really makes you think about what you buy and making the most of it!" - Katie, Uttlesford

"Great fun, great results! We’ve made the maximum use of surplus foods - and enjoyed carrot cake and carrot soup, courgette scones and airfried crisps. Excellent initiative." - Roy, Braintree

"Was a much more organised weekly shop having the meal plan done and having checked the cupboards for what we already had" - Emma, Basildon

"I was surprised at what I was throwing away just from poor organisation. Used my freezer more and learnt more about what can be frozen." - Laura, Chelmsford