On February 15th-16th Max La Manna, zero waste chef and award-winning author of More Plants Less Waste will be speaking at the Life Lessons Festival.


Hosted at The Barbican Centre, London, best-selling authors and world-class thinking will combine under one roof for an insight-fuelled weekend of talks and debates, as Life Lessons shares big – but practical – ideas for living better.

Alongside Max will be inspiring speakers including Marie Forleo, Ruby Wax, Alain de Botton, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Dr Rupy Aujla and Melissa Hemsley who all share their unique life lessons for a happier, healthier and more inspired life.

Life Lessons allows you to build your own bespoke programme from topics such as wellbeing, nutrition, health, sustainable living, society and psychology. The weekend offers festival goers not only a fresh perspective, but real, tangible knowledge to carry forwards into day-to-day life.

Max La Manna's 13 tips for reducing your food waste

"I’m doing this for the planet, but I’m also doing it for my health," Max says. "When we provide to the planet, the planet provides for us. Being conscious of your impact and making small changes creates a big difference directly back into the food we eat and the lives we live."

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Plan your meals

Know what you’re going to cook in the week. It’s going to not only save you money but help you reduce food waste by knowing what you’re going to use and when.


Cook ALL your food

Before shopping and stocking up, cook all the food you have in your home first. Not only will it help you work out what you do and don’t use and therefore what you should and shouldn’t be buying, but it will help clear kitchen space and really help to reduce your waste.


Shop smart

When you go to the supermarket, know what you’re going to buy. Don’t buy things you’re not comfortable with cooking or that you know you realistically won’t eat. We often see something shiny on the shelves and just think ‘I want that’. Then you never use it.


Save your leftovers

Place everything you don’t eat in the fridge. It’s going to reduce your waste, and footprint. All those tasty stews, curries and pasta sauces are perfect – mostly because they taste better the next day!


Make friends with your freezer

The freezer is your very own time capsule. Perfect to place portions of food that’s not going to be eaten right away. Bread is the best example as we buy big loaves and only have a few slices. Eat what you want while it’s fresh, slice it up, and place the rest in the freezer. It will stay fresh, always be there when you need it and save you money buying a new one.


Don’t be confused by the Best Before Date

Best Before means the food is going to taste it’s best either before or on that date. Afterwards, smell it, touch it, feel it, and determine yourself if it’s still consumable – which it often will be.


Cook less food

How many times have we been told our eyes are bigger than our stomachs? Each day we cook way too much food that we don’t need. Try smaller plates or portions – you won’t be hungry but you will save food.


Measure out your food

Measuring your food will stop you cooking too much. Rice is a great example – a full mug of rice is enough for four people. Measure it out before cooking and know how much you’ll need.



Try pickling your food to bring new flavour to old ingredients. Beetroots or cabbage work perfectly. Chop it up, place it in a mason jar and fill it up with white wine vinegar and let it sit.


Keep your peelings

Don’t throw away your lemon skins or citrus peels. You can use them as effective household cleaners.

Potato skins make delicious crisps. Cook the peelings in the oven and either have them as a snack or add them to a curry to add a different texture to the dish.


Use your seeds

We often end up buying expensive seeds that we have previously thrown away from other foods. Things like pumpkin seeds or butternut squash seeds are high in protein and fibre and are delicious once toasted on salads or curries.



There are incredible apps to use that allow you to trade food with neighbours and those in your community. If you’re going away on holiday and it’s going to waste, then let someone else enjoy your food.

London and other cities have community fridges you can donate to. Give any leftovers you have to someone else for them to make a meal.



If you don’t have a compost bin, contact your council and ask them. Food that ends up in landfill is contributing immensely to the climate crisis. It breaks down over time producing methane which is directly impacting the planet. By composting, we are bringing that food nutrients back to our soil and giving the ground the nutrients to then produce healthy plants that we can eat, making a full cycle.

Life Lessons Festival will take place at The Barbican Centre, London on the 15th-16th February 2020.

Visit lifelessonsfestival.com for a full list of speakers and to book your place.

  • One day tickets cost £60 p/p
  • Weekend tickets £115 p/p
  • Extra lessons £20 p/p
  • VIP Options also available