This week at Focus Friday we talk to Kate and Liz, the women behind Obeo, the quick, clean solution to food composting.
What is Obeo?
Obeo food waste box is the cleanest, easiest, niftiest way to deal with food waste. It’s a compostable little box you keep on the kitchen counter and throw in the brown bin when full (this usually takes 2-3 days) It’s really strong and doesn’t leak or smell. Obeo is water-resistant, so it can cope with any wet and gloopy food waste you throw in it. Wave bye bye to bin juice.
How does it work?
The seven steps of Obeo loveliness:
1. Open up your Obeo and pop in your food waste.
2. Close up your Obeo.
3. Admire your Obeo. Isn’t it lovely?
4. Enjoy your smell-free, mess-free, yuckiness-free kitchen.
5. Repeat for 2-3 days.
6. When your Obeo is full, chuck it in your brown bin.
7. Start right back at step number 1 with a brand new Obeo.
Why and how did you come up with this ingenious idea?
Recycling food waste can be pretty gross. We all know it’s the right thing to do and soon, most of us will have to do it, but that doesn’t make it any less disgusting. Using a caddy or bioplastic bag to collect vegetable peelings, leftovers and food scraps can quickly become a smelly, sloppy job. (Think ‘bin juice’. Think flies and maggots. Think yuck.) We knew there had to be a better way. Kate came up with the idea during her Masters in Design Sustainability in The National College of Art and Design. We’ve been working on developing it for 2 years and we finally launched it in July 2014.
What can you put in Obeo and what can you not put in? (This list is for using Obeo with your brown bin and not for home compost.)
Meat (raw and cooked)
Fish (raw and cooked)
Eggs, egg shells, cheese and dairy products
All plate scrapings
Fruit and vegetables
Bread and cakes
Pasta and rice
Sauces (including out-of-date jams, honey, cold soups, and jelly from cooked roast)
Small amounts of cooled cooking oil
Paper and cotton
Kitchen paper, tissues, paper napkins and cotton wool
Tea bags and coffee filter papers
What can’t I put in my Obeo?
Fairy cake, bun or muffin cases
Anti-bacterial kitchen wipes
Colour Catcher washing machine sheets
Vacuum cleaner bag contents
Candles or wax
Fabric of any kind
Take away foil containers
Female hygiene products
Ashes or coal
Dog poop or cat litter
What are your top tips for reducing food waste?
1. Buy less food
It might seem obvious, but the less food we buy, the less we waste. Scary fact: almost 50% of the salad we buy goes straight into the bin, followed by 25% of our fruit and veg and 20% of the bread and bakery items we buy, according to stopfoodwaste.ie <https://stopfoodwaste.ie> .
2. Take notice
A good way to reduce food waste is simply to notice how much of the food waste you put in your Obeo is avoidable.
3. Plan ahead
Make a food list before you go shopping and stick to it. And if you love lists as much as we do, try making a meal plan for the week. Yes, it’s a bit nerdy, but it works. More planning, less food waste!
4. Eat before you shop
We’ve all gone shopping when we’ve been hungry and we’ve seen the results – a shopping trolley full to the brim and an eye-watering bill at the checkout.
5. Know your dates
Bring older foods to the front of the fridge and push newer food to the back. If you buy marked-down bargains at the supermarket, use them that day or freeze immediately. If you really want to reduce food waste, make the freezer your new best friend. You can freeze almost anything including herbs, breads and almost all leftovers.
6. Learn the lingo
‘Best before’ doesn’t mean the same thing as ‘use by’. Lots of foods are still good to eat even after their best before date. Use your common sense!
7. Go to the dark side
Store your potatoes and other root vegetables in a cool dark place and they’ll last much longer. A clay pot is perfect and pretty!
8. Spoiler alert!
Check your fruit and vegetables daily to isolate any rotten bits that could spoil the rest of your fresh foods.
9. Cook what you need
Know the portion sizes that are right for you and your family, and only cook what you’ll eat. Pasta and rice measures are great tools to avoid needless waste.
10. Love your leftovers
There are lots of great recipe ideas online for using up yesterday’s food. Try the ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ site, https://england.lovefoodhatewaste.com/recipes. They’re so good, you’ll never feel like you’re eating leftovers!
Where can you buy this product and how much will it cost?
A pack of 5 Obeo boxes costs €3.75. Obeo is available to buy from our website www.obeo.ie <https://www.obeo.ie> . Obeo is on sale in Dunnes Stores nationwide and selected SuperValu stores in Dublin. We’re also stocked in Fresh supermarkets, Home Store and More, Mortons, and The Hopsack in Dublin and Nature’s Gold in Greystones.