Holidays are all about food, and they are always amazing. Treats, big meals, party appetisers and festive drinks which are constantly surrounding us at this time of the year. As wonderful as it is, it also creates a lot of waste. In the EU, around 88 million tonnes of food waste is generated every year and the holidays can be big contributors to this waste. That is a lot of food and a lot of money. Whether you are hosting or attending a party, gathering, or event, there are a lot of ways you can reduce food waste this holiday season.
Have a plan for food
Make a plan to use up any leftovers before you even start cooking meals. There are many things to do with leftovers; they can be used in other dishes or frozen to be used later.
Make sure to plan your meal before you go grocery shopping as well, this way you can make sure that you don't overbuy. You can also give the leftovers away, ask you guests to bring their own reusable containers and let them take leftovers home. And since Christmas is about giving, you could also give away the leftovers to the homeless and make their Christmas special as well.
Pay attention to packaging when shopping
This is a great way for you to reduce your food packaging waste. Make sure you use reusable produce bags, do your best to avoid single serve items and buy the largest packaged item as possible.
Our food travels over 2000 km to get to our plates, but buying local largely reduces the number of kilometers our food travels which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps support local farmers in our community.
Going vegan or incorporating vegan dishes can have a very big impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock alone account for more than 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions; a vegan or vegetarian diet could cut those emissions by 70% and 63%, respectively. Going completely vegan might not be for everyone but its worth trying to transform some non-vegan dishes into vegan ones. Not only is it good for the planet, but also for you and your wallet!