The University of Hertfordshire officially launched its Community Fridge project on Wednesday 31 January. The Community Fridge is open to the University of Hertfordshire community to encourage sustainability by sharing and swapping surplus food.
According to Hubbub (London based environmental campaign charity), 61% or 4.1 million tonnes of food waste in the UK is avoidable and instead could be shared and eaten by others. The aims of the Community Fridge are to reduce food waste, share access to nutritious food and save money. The project was supported and funded by Sainsbury’s as part of their ‘Waste Less, Save More’ campaign that is running in partnership with Hubbub.
Our Community Fridge, which is based in the Oval, at the University’s College Lane campus, is a new place for staff and students to exchange or donate unwanted or unneeded food by placing it in the fridge. There are also ‘sharing boxes’ located in across the University campuses where food and drink items that are still within their use-by date can be handed in.
The official launch event invited staff and students to explore the various ways they can actively contribute to protecting and conserving the environment. Alongside the eye-catching Community Fridge, which was stocked with items donated by the Student Union shop and London based company Dig-In Box for the launch event, were contributions that had been made by those who had used the ‘sharing boxes.’
At the launch event there were stalls offering free samples of easy and affordable meals and smoothies produced by cycling on a bike, alongside recipes for students to recreate themselves. There were also stalls from Hertfordshire County Council and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council advising students on how to recycle and reuse waste effectively, whilst Hubbub and Affinity Water encouraged students and staff to talk openly about using water through their #tapchat partnership initiative.
Emma Lewis, Campus Community officer at the University of Hertfordshire said:
‘It was great to see so many students and staff visit the launch event to learn about how they can reuse and recycle on campus. The Community Fridge is a great way for us all to eliminate food waste and the contributions made by our generous staff and students reflects the growing culture of community and sustainability at the University of Hertfordshire. Since the Community Fridge opened, we have so far saved 221.4kg food surplus from being wasted unnecessarily. My next goal is to introduce a second Community Fridge on de Havilland campus in the near future.’
To find out more about the community fridge or to volunteer, contact the Community Partnership Office.