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Article – Easy, cheap, good for you, good for the planet

How we’re motivating younger Londoners and families with children under 11 to stop wasting food and shift to more sustainable diets

67% of the food that is wasted or lost in London’s supply chain could have been eaten, yet the majority of people we speak to insist that they don’t waste food at all.

In London, food accounts for over 10% of the city’s consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions – a huge 27% of that comes from the meat we eat, 19% comes from dairy products – while just 4% comes from fruit and vegetables. This is a real opportunity to nudge a shift in diets as well as tackle food waste at a city level.

Only 14% of food in London is eaten out – which is why our motivational campaign, Eat like a Londoner, focuses on behaviours at home, inspiring people with simple switches and tips which can save them money. These include meal planning tips; recipes to inspire people to eat less meat and dairy; and creative ideas for making the most of leftovers – all of which have had cut through in a noisy information space.

Our own campaign evaluation has shown that there’s a direct link between parents with children under 11 who have seen Eat like a Londoner adverts (one in six) and those who say they are then more likely to see tips on reducing food waste.

Parents are more likely to believe that eating environmentally-friendly diets will have an impact on climate change; and more parents with children under 11 are concerned about meat and dairy consumption than the general London population – with our survey showing 36% of those parents as being concerned (12 percentage points higher than the ‘all Londoners’ group).

We’ve also seen an increase in the amount of Londoners eating leftovers since the start of the campaign – up six percentage points to 65% of all Londoners since March 2023.

But there’s still a long way to go to convince people to eat meals with less meat and dairy content. Just being aware of the environmental impact of meat and dairy is rarely enough to change behaviours. What we eat is personal, it’s cultural, it costs us money.

People tell us they want more evidence about the significance of their personal impact on the environment, mainly because they currently see it as a drop in the ocean compared to the impact of corporates and governments. And politicians are never going to tell people what they can and can’t eat….

London’s boroughs are leading by example by reducing the environmental impact of the food served by council-procured or council-run caterers. This means they are reducing waste and following globally recognised guidelines on diet, sourcing food locally where possible, and using organically farmed products.

But does this mean anything to anyone? Does it over complicate things for people with so many other priorities, not least how expensive everything is? Should we simply be talking about how cheap and good for you less meat and dairy is, and celebrate the impact we can have by doing things like eating leftovers instead of throwing the food out?

With limited budgets we think the biggest impact we can have is to shout about how easy, healthy and cheap it is to do those simple things – and to Eat like a Londoner.

Find out more about Eat like a Londoner. Follow the campaign on Facebook and Instagram.

We’re always looking for partners who share a similar mission to be part of the campaign. To explore opportunities, contact us at

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