Top 5 Tips for Reducing Food Waste This Christmas
One of the best things about Christmas is the food of course! But if your family is anything like mine, you're eating leftovers for days afterwards and still working your way through the "Christmas cupboard" well into January.
In the UK it's estimated that we waste 5 million Christmas puddings, 2 million turkeys, and 74 million mince pies each year. Not to mention huge amounts of vegetables, fruit and snacks. Most of our food waste ends up in landfill, producing a huge amount of methane when it starts to decompose. One of the best ways to improve your environmental impact at Christmas is to lessen the amount of food you're throwing away. Here are our top five tips to help you reduce your food waste this Christmas:
1. Write a shopping list
Seems an obvious one, but a little bit of planning ahead can make a real difference to the amount of food you have leftover at Christmas, not to mention the money it could save you by helping you to buy only what you need. Rather than guestimating how many parsnips you think you'll need to feed the visiting in-laws this Christmas, why not use a portion planner like this one by Love Food Hate Waste, which works it out for you based on average portion sizes.
2. Don't go shopping hungry!
Something we wish we'd learned years ago, but it's especially true of this time of year when the supermarket shelves are heaving with decadent and delicious looking festive treats. It's so much easier to stick to your list when your belly isn't also telling you that you definitely need 3 more boxes of mince pies.
3. Try not to be swayed by in-store promotions
Once you get into the supermarket it's so easy to buy way more than you planned because the supermarket tempted you with special offers and multibuy promotions. Whilst we're all for thrifty shopping, be mindful that supermarket chains use these deals to trigger a psychological reaction with the sole purpose of getting you to impulse buy. While discounted prices and special offers might seem like obvious money-savers, buying excess food purely because it’s on offer is more likely to result in food waste. If it's not on your list and can't go in your freezer or pantry for later, don't buy it.
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4. Use Wax Wraps instead of Clingfilm
This year, rather than wrapping your leftovers up with plastic clingfilm, why not make the switch to using wax wraps? You can get them in most homeware stores these days but we love feeling a bit crafty and making our own with things like old pillowcases. Learn how to make your own here or you can buy a vegan DIY Kit from Tabitha Eve here.
5. Turkey Curry, anyone?
Not sure what to do with those leftover Brussels Sprouts? Olive Magazine have some delicious looking recipes that will not only help you use up your Christmas leftovers, but they will keep your tastebuds happy until the New Year (and there's no mention of turkey curry)!