Walthamstow neighbours take turns cooking potatoes for dinner to cut carbon and energy bills

A group of neighbours in East London have come up with an ingenious way of cutting energy consumption and saving money.

The environmentally-conscious locals are taking turns to fill their ovens with potatoes and cook them for the street.

Adam Walters, from Walthamstow, came up with the idea for 'Potato Mondays' after realising his oven was often half empty when making dinner.

His innovative culinary idea didn't just reduce carbon emissions it also built a sense of community and cut people's bills.

"I have always very concerned by the climate crisis and when we were cooking at home we were aware in our oven there was lots of space not being used so we thought we'd fill it and put some more potatoes in," Adam told ITV News London.

"I asked a few neighbours if they would like to be involved and there were a few who came on board and now we have a rota system so every week a different person cook using all the capacity in their oven.

"It's a habit changing idea so we can save as much carbon as we can as a community - and money!

"It ticks a lot of boxes because it was initially a carbon saving idea and it's now a money saving idea as well.

"The more you do it the more you save - both money and carbon," Adam explained.

The number of people taking part varies each week but generally reaches more than a dozen neighbours.

And it all began with a simple WhatsApp message.

Adam added: "We have got a really active WhatsApp group locally so I just put a message on that and said who wants to have a potato this evening!

"Some people said it sounded nice.

"We put the potatoes in the oven at about 4:30pm and then they are all ready for the evening meal and we will deliver them between 6pm and 7pm.

"If there are lots of people involved they will come to the cook's house and collect them.

"If there are not so manty we will take them round to the neighbours' houses.

"So there's a chance for a chat on the doorstep as well."

Adam said the most potatoes he can cook is about 25 which can cover six or seven families.

Cooking potatoes for several families in the street cuts cost ad carbon emissions Credit: ITV News

And he dismissed any suggestion that it would be easier to use a microwave.

"You can't get that many potatoes in a microwave so you'd have to use the microwave several times anyway," Adam explained.

"Yes the microwave is more carbon friendly, but the whole thing is to get people involved in this conversation about using their oven more efficiently and effectively.

"It does not have to be potatoes, you could have fish finger Friday's!

"And potatoes taste better in the oven!

Adam hoped the idea would spread beyond East London and more people would back the idea where they live.

"The more people who do it the more people reap the benefits," he said.

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