From workshop to waste free – Irene’s story


Irene struggled to keep fruit and vegetables fresh for long before she attended a Love Food Hate Waste workshop at her workplace. Then, thanks to advice from Love Food Hate Waste tutor Bindi, Irene became a food waste expert overnight.

“My life has changed since the LFHW Workshop Bindi hosted! I’m buying fresh produce and storing it just the way Bindi taught us to and it’s staying fresh, and lasting longer. Plus, I’m now juicing daily, and my household waste has reduced significantly!” 

A Venezuelan-born New Zealander, Irene appreciates the environment and loves spending time outdoors, running and surfing. Thinking she was already making a difference, and unsure what to expect, Irene gained a wealth of new knowledge about food waste at the workshop.

A common theme from Love Food Hate workshops is people wanting to spread the word by sharing with everyone the new tips they learn, as well as the shocking numbers around food wastage in New Zealand. Irene’s biggest takeaway from the workshop was that putting veggies inside air tight containers with paper towels makes them last for at least two weeks. 

“That tip alone has helped me not have any wasted fresh produce, as well as saving a lot of money. I have since been sharing this tip with all my friends and family, so they can also be part of helping reduce food waste, as well as enjoying fresher fruit and veggies every day”, says Irene.

Food waste is a problem in New Zealand. It is estimated Kiwis throw away three trolleys full of edible food a year. In Auckland, before the Council’s kerbside food scraps roll-out, 45% of items in household rubbish bins was food waste. 

A 2023 Kantar New Zealand Food Waste Survey showed every year more than 100,000 tonnes (equivalent to 60,000 cars in weight) of perfectly good food is wasted, with an estimated value of about $1510 per year, per New Zealand household. Nationally this equates to $3.2 billion of wasted food. One positive from the 2023 Kantar survey is that despite the dollar cost of food waste increasing, the percentage of household food wasted in 2023 is 12.2%, down from 13.4% in 2022. There is still a long way to go, however.

Storage tips from Love Food Hate Waste, to make food last longer:

For more tips and tricks on how you can save food, book into a workshop or visit