• Buy more locally

    There are some great local shops across the Vale, selling everything from fruit & veg and wholefoods, to meat and dairy. You can visit our directory for a list of great places to buy local. Alternatively, read our news item on the top ten places to buy local in the Vale.

  • Prepare from scratch

    Cooking from scratch is a great way to learn more about what is in your food and have better control over what you eat.

    The Nutrition Skills For Life TM scheme works with partner agencies and organisations to ensure that everyone in Wales has the skills, opportunity and confidence to access the food they need for good health. Their website offers host of training courses as well as practical nutrition tips and advice, recipe ideas and interactive games that are suitable for all ages.

    If you would like to develop your cookery skills and learn more about how to cook from scratch, you might want to try their Get Cooking course. This is a free, practical cookery course that can be completed over 6-8 weeks. The course is delivered in a fun and informal way and allows participants to develop confidence and skills in preparing healthy meals. The course is accredited with Agored Cymru at Level 1 and these courses run throughout Cardiff and Vale.

    The Public Health Dietetics team have a range of fantastic recipes for Get Cooking course participants, through Nutrition Skills for Life. They would like to share them more widely to support people and families cooking at home during these challenging times.
    The recipes might also be useful for Food Response Partners to give out with emergency food parcels or alongside member meals.
    Get Cooking tutors can be trained through the NUTRITION SKILLS FOR LIFE TM Scheme. Once trained, tutors can access high quality resources such as a Get Cooking recipe book, learner workbooks and tutor handbook.

    And if you already have good cooking skills, why not share these with your children, friends and family so that they can learn to cook from scratch too!

    If you are looking to try new recipes that you don’t have the equipment for, why not try renting equipment from Benthyg? They have premises in Barry and Penarth, and are now expanding a mobile service to the rest of the Vale.

  • Eat more fruit and veg

    According to the Eat Well Guide, we should be eating at least 5 portions of fruit a vegetables a day. This can include fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced.  Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. (Fruit juice and smoothies should be limited to no more than 150ml a day).

    There are lots of different ways you can make sure you are getting your 5-a-day, such as replacing your snacks with fruit or vegetable. You can pack in more veg to your mealtimes too, by choosing recipes with a high-veg count. There are many resources online for cooking up a healthy meal:

    By prioritising seasonal veg that is grown locally, you can make sure you are getting the most out of your veg, and ensure that it is as sustainable as possible too. This list from the Vegetarian Society shows what is in season, when.

  • Aim to waste less food

    Did you know that in UK households we waste 6.5 million tonnes of food every year, 4.5 million of which is edible.

    Wasting less food (by buying less and making sure you eat what you buy) can save your household £££’s every year, and also reduces your impact on the environment. You can calculate how much money and carbon equivalent you could save if you started reducing your wasted food on the Guardians of Grub website.

    For some great tips on how to avoid food waste, visit the Love Food Hate Waste website.

    Some food waste, like banana skins and tea bags, is inevitable. Make sure you put it in your food recycling bin (not the general waste) so that it can be properly dealt with by the council. To find out your local food recycling collection day, or to order a new food recycling container, visit the Vale Council website.

    To make it a community affair, why not run a Disco Soup event to bring people together while using surplus food?

  • Try growing your own

    Did you know that Glamorgan used to be known as the ‘Garden of Wales’?

    There are lots of benefits to growing your own food, including staying active, saving money, environmental benefits (more likely to be zero-waste, low food miles and organic!), as well as the social advantages to growing together with family and friends. You don’t need to have loads of space – even growing from windowsill pots can be very rewarding!


    Alternatively, anyone who lives in the Vale may apply to rent a plot on any of the Council run allotment sites. You can find out more about this on their website.

    Community gardens

    If you can’t commit to an allotment, you can still get involved with one of the many community gardens set up across the Vale. See our directory for a list of different community growing projects.

    If you want to find out more about the support available for setting up and developing a new community growing space, please visit the Social Farms and Gardens website for Wales.

    Watch our video about community food growing projects here in the Vale here.

  • Volunteer for a local food project

    There are some great volunteering opportunities at food projects across the Vale. From community gardens, to food banks and food distribution centres. Find out more in our directory by filtering the ‘volunteering opportunities at food projects’ category.

    You can also get in touch with Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS) to find out about volunteering opportunities that suit your needs.

  • Ask for healthier and more sustainable options in your fav eateries

    When shops, cafés and restaurants know that their customers in the local community want to prioritise healthier and more sustainable options, they are more likely to have these on offer.

  • Prioritise deforestation-free and other certified products including tea, coffee and chocolate

    For ingredients or products coming from supply chains with a high level of social and environmental risk, look out for certification to ensure the product is free from violations to human rights, to workers rights, and deforestation.

    Examples of products which typically have a high level of risk in their supply chains include:

    • Coffee
    • Sugar
    • Chocolate
    • Tea
    • Soy
    • Palm oil

    Some certification schemes to look out for are:

    For more information about being deforestation free in Wales, see Size of Wales’ Deforestation Free Nation.

  • Reduce, reuse, recycle packaging where possible

    There are lots of great ways to reduce the use of single-use plastics and other packaging.

    The Vale has a number of zero-waste shops, including Awesome.Wales in Barry and Cowbridge, and the Weigh To Go mobile zero waste shop that makes visits to different areas of the Vale on different days of the week (check their website for latest schedule). You can also visit local markets, such as the Vale Farmers Market in Cowbridge every Saturday, which offers lots of opportunities for zero-waste shopping.

    You can avoid single-use plastic water bottles by getting a reusable bottle made from metal or hard plastic, and simply fill it up at home or on the go. You use the Refill app to find out where to go for water refills, discounts and rewards for bringing your own coffee cup, and places for plastic-free shopping!

    You can read our news item Zero Waste Kitchen with Awesome.Wales for tips on reducing kitchen waste from Amy at Awesome.Wales.

    For residents in Barry and Cowbridge, Awesome.Wales offer a monthly Terracycle recycling collection, allowing you to recycle things like crisp packets, Pringles tubes and contact lens cases. Visit https://awesome.wales/recycling/ to find out more.

    To find out more about the Vale of Glamorgan council’s recycling services, visit their website.

  • Prioritise better quality meat & dairy

    By prioritising better quality meat and dairy, you can make a significant difference to animal welfare, nature and biodiversity, and support UK farmers producing to higher standards. Better meat has a raft of benefits for nature and biodiversity, and is normally healthier.  Your commitment will also help tackle the threat of antibiotic resistance and the risk of future zoonotic diseases. 

    Examples of ‘better’ certifications to look for include:

    • RSPCA Assured (indoor production)
    • British Lion Barn Eggs
    • Red Tractor Indoor Enhanced Welfare meat chicken.

    Examples of ‘best’ certifications include:

    • Soil Association Organic (poultry, pigs, beef & dairy)
    • Pasture for Life (beef & dairy)
    • RSPCA Assured (free range/organic production)