Food and Kitchen


At harvest-time we often think about the food we eat and how it makes it to the table. But we often don’t think about how the food we eat impacts the lives of humans, animals and the earth.  How can we improve our carbon food print relating to food?

Meat-free Mondays

Have you considered having one day in the week (and it doesn’t have to be a Monday!) where you eat meet free?  Eating less meat will reduce your carbon footprint.


Consider purchasing Fairtrade goods and food.  This is a simple way to make a difference to the lives of the people who grow the things we love.  You are also helping and encouraging sustainability because:

  • it helps to increase the standards of living for Fairtrade farmers and workers due to “The Fairtrade Minimum Price”
  • it helps encourage stronger businesses.
  • improves workers rights including safe working environments.
  • It helps environmental protection and climate change

Buying Fairtrade can help to improve your carbon footprint.  Look out for the Fairtrade logo on foods. At St James we are a Fairtrade Church serving Fairtrade coffee, and tea.


LOAF stands for food which is: Locally produced, Organically grown, Animal friendly and Fairly traded. Find out more here!

Food miles

Consider your food miles – you could consider shopping at the local market in Woodley on Saturday’s or try Reading Farmers’ Market at the Cattle Market, Great Knollys Street, Reading RG1 7HD – first and third Saturdays of the month 8.30am to 12 noon. 

Eat more UK produce, there is less energy used getting the food to you the consumer and therefore this is better for the environment – look for the Red tractor logo, British Lion Mark on eggs.

Consider buying food with minimal or no packaging, therefore being more environmentally friendly.  Some supermarkets now offer recycled paper bags for your fruit and vegetables, and at Morrison’s customers would be rewarded for using their own packaging.  Consider taking you own reusable bags for your fruit and vegetables as well as reusable bags for your shopping.

Food Waste

Consider writing a weekly menu plan and then plan your shopping list based on this menu plan.  It will encourage you to buy items you need for the week therefore avoiding over purchasing and wasting food … click for ideas! 

Have you prepared too much food, or your family not feeling as hungry as normal?  Consider freezing your leftovers in individual portion sizes.  Then, occasionally, have a menu day of left-over meals from the freezer … minimal preparation and food and money saved!

Compost your (uncooked) food waste such as peelings, apple cores, broccoli storks, or invest in a wormery to make fertiliser from your waste. See Wormery ideas!


Tips for reducing your carbon footprint in the Kitchen:

  • Never put warm or hot food into the fridge or freezer as this will make the fridge / freezer work extra hard to try and keep it cold; always allow food to cool down first.
  • Do not wash up under a running tap. Using a bowl for washing up can save up to £25.00 a year in energy bills. For more information click here!
  • When making a hot drink, only boil the amount of water that you need. Don’t waste electricity (and money) heating water you won’t use.
  • Reduce your use of aluminium foil for cooking wherever possible; use a container with a lid that can be reused. Aluminium is a rare metal and its extraction and purification uses a lot of energy. Remember clean used aluminium can be recycled.
  • Consider eating less meat, production of red meat uses more carbon dioxide than white meat or vegetables. There are lots of ideas in this area including:
    • Choosing vegetarian or vegan meals.
    • Reduction the amount of meat consumed each meal.
    • Meat free Monday
    • Veganuary
  • Providing your protein source from alternatives to meat: beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, soya such as “quorn”.