Only a week left to Christmas! It’s time for our final treat in our zero waste Christmas advent calendar.
Maybe you’ve already planned what you’re having for dinner, or maybe you are figuring it out during the coming week. No matter what, we have some tips for you to cut your food waste and make sure that none of the delicious food you’ve spent hours making will go uneaten!
- Make a meal plan
The easiest way to cut back food waste is to make a meal plan – especially if you are able to use many of the same ingredients that can’t be bought as single items. Can you only get a 2 kg bag of potatoes? Have them mashed on Friday and roast on Sunday!Remember to plan around your leftovers! You can use them to make new recipes and plan to use them as lunch or supper in the days after Christmas.
- Buy loose items – and avoid plastic packaging
This step is so much easier, if you’ve made a good meal plan and know exactly how much you need.Start your shopping somewhere with a good selection of loose items and only shop in bulk if you need to. One way is to go to local, specialty stores: buy your greens at the greengrocer, your meat at the butcher, and your fish at the fishmonger. They are usually able to give you the exact amount you need – and you can also often bring your own container. In that way, you’ll also support your local community!For all the plastics that can’t be avoided, like that salted bag of crisps, check out our Zero Waste Box selection, and make sure any waste you cannot avoid is properly recycled.
- Join forces
If you can’t buy the items you need as single items or maybe the bulk deals are just too good to pass, why not join forces with a friend? Although traditions can vary, many of us are eating the same type of foods. Plan ahead with a friend and divide the food between you when you’re done shopping. You’ll get to spend a fun day with a friend, you can save money, and you won’t end up with more food than you need!
- Store your food properly
If you do have any leftovers after step 1-3, use old glass jars, cookie jars, or something similar that can be closed tightly. Whenever you buy something in a glass jar, wash the jar and store it for later use. If you absolutely cannot live without your plastic wrap, try switching it for bees wrap instead. You can buy it online or even make your own.
… and embrace your freezer! If you can only buy big amounts of meats, store the meat you won’t use in the freezer in a sustainable container (yes, glass can go in the freezer) and include it in your meal plan at some later time. You can also freeze your leftovers or veggies for another time. You can even freeze your veggie scraps and use them to make vegetable stock.
- Have a leftover potluck supper party
If you have a lot of leftovers and not enough room in your fridge or freezer, why not have a leftover potluck supper? Have your friends or family bring their own leftovers, heat them up, and make a buffet of leftovers for all the loved ones you didn’t get to see on Christmas Eve!
- A final gift
If you have company for Christmas, have sustainable containers ready so all of your guests can take home some of your delicious, home cooked meal or cookies for the day after!
You can also ask your local homeless shelter if they would be interested in any of your leftovers, especially unused produce.
If all is lost, and you still have leftovers – compost it!