Life in Dubai can be excessive, but it doesn’t have to be wasteful, especially at home. Manar Alkassar of Helpling Middle East offers Benita Adesuyan some advice on how to live smart
The UAE throws away almost 3.3 million tonnes of food every year. That’s the equivalent of every person in the country chucking five bowls of rice in the bin every day. The National Environment Agency has estimated that approximately half of all wasted food is produced by households, which means we can all do more to prevent waste in our own homes. Manar Alkassar, founder and managing director of Helpling Middle East, an online marketplace for cleaning service providers, offers some handy tips to help cut down on waste.
Buy less food. It seems simple, but really, this is one of the most important things you can do. Plan your meals and write a shopping list containing only the items you know you will use for those meals.
Work with what you’ve got
Check use-by dates and make meals with items that are reaching expiration. Staple foods, such as bread, often make up a big portion of wasted items. But bread is so versatile: it can be used in soups and, of course, as breadcrumbs for coating foods, so think twice before throwing it away.
Store food properly
Proper storage of certain items can drastically impact their longevity. You should store long-life products in a cool, dry cupboard. Also, keep your fridge clean and at the right temperature (ideally around 4°C) and get into the habit of bringing items from the back to the front.
Serve sensible portions
Avoid over-serving when cooking for friends and family. Serve small portions at first, then dish out any more to those who want seconds. Also try serving food on smaller plates.
Reuse and recycle
Many items that you might discard still have life left in them. Old coffee grounds for example, can be used on the garden as a fertiliser, and as a beautifying body scrub.