Does reducing your waste make a difference?

2.00pm Sun 28th

Between 33% and 55% of food produced globally is never eaten, and enough plastic is thrown away each year to circumnavigate the globe four times. But what difference can individual actions really make?

This free Zoom session explored the challenges of reducing food and plastic waste at home, the impact waste has on our environment, oceans and waterways, and tips on how we can take simple steps to improve our waste footprint. Featuring TV star and waste-not chef Momma Cherri, photographer and environmentalist Heather McGuinness, plastics action champion Emanuele Reggiani, film-maker and photographer Toby Pickard , forager and folklorist Tom Peer, plus Deputy Member of Youth Parliament for South Suffolk and Ipswich Poppy Brown. 

Abi kidd
Session host: Abi Kidd

Momma cherri

Momma Cherri

Charita Jones has come a long way since leaving her hometown back in the States. She hails from a small suburban ghetto, just outside of Philadelphia in the northern state of Pennsylvania. Born in the mid 50s, she had to overcome racial discrimination and become a fighter from an early age. She arrived in England in 1978 as the stage manager in a Gospel musical which ran for a few months in London’s West End.

In 2001 she moved from London to Brighton and opened Momma Cherri's Soul Food Shack restaurant in Brighton England. In 2005 the restaurant was featured on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. Momma Cherri’s became an overnight hit after Ramsay cleaned his plate. She went on to write her first soul food cookbook and has since appeared on many well-known entertainment and cookery shows. Her success has been well documented but so have her failures. Through it all she has fought to place American soul food on the international food map by working with the public, local schools, community centres, young people, prisons, churches and by opening her doors to offer more than food but an education into what Soul food is really about.

She has even created her own catch phase that she lives by: DON’T BIN IT SPIN IT. This is how she has always lived her life. It is a form of recycling that she applies to her everyday life, one which she preaches on a daily basis. Never give up and just throw away. Always look for a different way to sort a problem, always share when you can. In this disposable throwaway world we live in we need to explore different ways to recycle and reuse our natural resources. This all leads back to the early ways that the American slaves had to live their lives. Learning to make a little go a long way. Learning how to look at a few basic ingredients and make them into array of different tasty dishes.

When the pandemic hit I knew I had to do something to help. I began my food bank project by supplying three course meals to 5 families in need at my local church but knew this wouldn’t be enough so I reached out to a local food bank and began dropping off freshly home cooked meals.

I aimed to supply a minimum of 50 main course meat, veg, vegan and children’s meals, together with soups, salads, and a vast assortment of desserts . I package it all individually so that if someone just wants a dessert or salad they can choose it.  Each week we deliver over 100 individually packaged items. To date we have donated over 1,600 main courses and 1200 soups, salads and desserts.
Momma Cherri's YouTube
Momma Cherri's Facebook
Website: https://mommacherrisoulfood.co...

Heather mcguinness

Heather McGuinness
I’m Heather, I’m 22 and I work as a Social Media Executive by day but graduated from my degree in Photography in 2019. During my time at university my work took a focus around environmental issues such as marine debris, plastic pollution and waterway pollution. Going into my degree I was quite unsure of what I was really passionate about photographing, I just knew it was something I enjoyed. I think often there’s pressure to stick to certain photographic ‘rules’ and ‘traditions’ which can be quite restrictive. As soon I started to look at environmental issues as my practise it was all very experimental and ironically a lot of my final work became camera-less. I’d use scanners and physical negatives to exhibit my work and that for me was more exciting, as similarly to analogue photography, you never knew how the final product would turn out. It also made me very aware of the crisis that we’re currently facing on the planet, which before I don’t think I quite understood the scale of. I found myself considerably changing my habits in my life. Even simple changes such as cosmetics and cleaning products which are incredibly easy and affordable to make.

Instagram: photos @heathermcgphotog and baking cakes @heatherbakescakes1 

Poppy brown
Poppy Brown
Hi, I'm Poppy Brown and I'm Deputy Member of Youth Parliament for South Suffolk and Ipswich, which means I represent young people and their views, ideas and I also help to raise their voices too! I'm also leader of the environment committee and member of the mental health committee (both for Suffolk's youth parliament). To get into Youth Parliament I had to write a manifesto, make an election video, and run for election (so thank you to everyone who vote for me and believed in me). I also wouldn’t have achieved it without my family, friends, and school; all of whom supported me so much - I couldn't have done it without them! Thank you for giving me the confidence and belief that I could do what I do. I'd really like to help get your voice heard too, so you can always find me 
@poppydmyp on Twitter and Instagram 
or you can always email me at: p.brownSouthDMYP@gmail.com. 

Toby pickard

Toby Pickard
Toby Pickard is a wildlife photographer and filmmaker based in Bristol, specialising in remote camera trapping. He has created a powerful video about the waste hazard to wildlife of discarded PPE equipment. His passion for the natural world has taken him as far as Zambia, Canada and India, but he also spends time photographing British wildlife when at home. With a BSc in Geography from the University of Bristol, Toby hopes to develop his craft to promote and protect the environment and its inhabitants in the future.

Emanuele reggiani

Emanuele Reggiani

Originally from Turin (Italy), I work as an electronic engineer working at CEFAS in Suffolk, looking at biogeochemistry of oceans and water resources. I have been sent in several missions to set-up instruments for experiments including the high Arctic at Ny Ålesund (Svalbard), when I met the visiting former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon. Since 2009, my only transportation mean is a bicycle. I also like running, and when I go running on the beach I collect all the plastic bits I might find on the shore. I am a cooking enthusiast, possibly local food!

Tom ashley

Tom & Ashley  At Forage & Folklore Tours we provide guided nature walks going over the ecology of the area, identification of edible and medicinal plants found in our location, as well as the corresponding historical anecdotes and forgotten folkloric tales and traditions surrounding the plants and animals we come across.Your nature guide, Tom, is from Northern Ontario, Canada and has a formal education in Wildlife and Forestry conservation, worked at a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre and lived briefly in South Africa as an ecology research intern, assisting in guiding international volunteers as well as data collection and analysis. Ashley is originally from South Africa, but has grown up most of her life here in England and has fallen in love with this land. Since moving to Suffolk, she has devoted herself to the study of traditional pagan practices, folklore, history and herbalism. Ashley & Tom met in South Africa as volunteers on a wildlife research project and have since moved to Suffolk. Their shared interests in foraging, herbalism and folk practices, combined with our common background in conservation of nature and wildlife, have each led to the formation of Foraging and Folklore Tours.