If you remember, I’d opened my fridge to find lots of half used foods which were in desperate need of rehoming in a caring owner’s stomach. I had a few days before my food waste for that week provided a mountain of food for the landfill.
Luckily I got through it unscathed, but Lyndsey offered me an opportunity to prevent this problem happening again, in the form of her ‘Count on it‘ labels. These labels are designed to help you reduce food waste.
The box of labels arrived beautifully packaged in a thick cardboard tube with brown paper around it. Little Miss Green cooed at the parcel and said ‘What LOVELY packaging’. She was right! It was a work of zero waste art with a 1940’s twist!
Inside was a small pink box containing my personal assistant for the week – 25 scratch-off adhesive labels with the promise that I could peel, stick, scratch and relax – Now that’s my kinda life!
The idea is that whenever you open an item of food; say a jar of pasta sauce or you freeze something, you pop one of these labels on, scratch off the relevant date and you get an instant visual reminder about how long things have been opened. This should encourage us to start using things up before they go off and prevent you from throwing things away that are still ok to eat.
Lyndsey recommends creative use of these labels elsewhere around the home too – medication, contact lens solution, water filters … it seems you are only limited by your imagination.
I duly stuck one of our sticky friends on the milk bottle straight away to see if some miracle would start to happen in my fridge. Would I metamorphose into a magnificently organised person? A domestic Goddess perhaps? Or just a woman that was free to peel, stick, scratch and relax her way through life would do me!
Now herein lies the problem for me. I really wanted to rant and wave about how magnificent these labels were, because I kind of understand the concept, but I think they are missing something.
There is a magic ingredient x that is not working for me.
I have been known in the past to jot the opening date of something on the label with a pen or chinagraph pencil. So there is nothing to stop me continuing to do that. Scratching off a label is certainly no easier than reaching for a pen.
Next, my issue with food waste is that I forget that I’ve put something in the ‘fridge; not that I’m worried about when I opened it or whether it is fresh when I finally fish it out from being iced against the back plate.
I must admit, I think, along with absolving responsibility for our waste, we tend to have forgotten how to take basic care of ourselves too. Sure, use the use by dates on food as a guidelines, but use your eyes, sense of smell and taste to check the freshness of food – we were given those senses to guide us through life and they’ve been serving us for millions of years.
Let’s face it, the food manufacturers want us to buy, buy, buy, and what better way to ensure this than by putting the fear of God into you by utilising a ‘use by’ date on things that will last a good 48 hours longer than they say?
On the box of ‘Count on it’ labels is the tagline “Takes the guesswork out of freshness – at a glance”; but really, I don’t need a label to tell me that. By glancing at the contents of the jar, tub or pack I know whether it is fresh. Doing my own old-fashioned scratch ‘n’ sniff test has kept me alive for 30 something years.
So these labels may be useful for some, but they are not for me. Sorry Lyndsay; I hated writing that! They don’t actually help me achieve anything.
These labels have been endorsed by celebrities, get rave reviews from users and are now stocked by Lakeland; who carefully select all their products. In addition, WRAP include a box of these labels in their ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ goody bags. So I’m happy to admit that it’s just me who is unable to rave about them at present!
I think, more useful would be to count on a few days and scratch off on the day you want to USE UP the item. For example, if I opened some ham which I know lasts three days, they might be useful to put the date on when I should use it by.
Maybe for someone using medication they could be very useful. There are other instances where I can see a use for them – childminders, for instance, who must not take a risk with food, or people running an old people’s home who must not compromise their client’s immune system.
For me, I could use them for freezer food, but at the moment I just write on the bag or box and I can continue to do so. I don’t need to replace that method with an adhesive label.
To that end, I’m offering up these Count on It labels for someone else who feels they can make use of them and I’ll continue to count on my eyes, nose and taste buds.
Now Lyndsey, if your labels could talk and tell me that there is something that needs using up in the ‘fridge when I opened the door, you would get a huge thumbs up from me!
If you can see a value for the ‘Count on it’ labels in your own life, then leave a comment below briefly stating why and I’ll pick someone at random at the beginning of next week to send this box to. In exchange, come back to me within a month and write a review for me to share on the site.
Deal? Good! Fill in your details below!
Easy Related Posts
I made marmalade thanks to Abel and Cole
Honest review of Abel and Cole's Marmalade kit ...read more
Brita Wottle - the reusable designer water bottle
Brita have designed a water bottle made from recycled materials in the UK ...read more