You may well have already bought in the food you need for your Christmas dinner and other meals over the festive period. Zero waste begins with what you choose to buy in the first place. But it does not end there.
As you enjoy the holiday period with your family, I hope that everyone will remember that living a sustainable, zero waste lifestyle means thinking carefully about what is consumed, but also about what happens to leftovers.
Food waste is a major problem in our society. And tackling this problem means everyone treating food as the precious commodity it is.
Food, whether we grew it at home or bought it from local producers, no matter how sustainably it was grown, always represents a certain amount of time, effort, energy, water and land. Wasting food does not just mean wasting money. It means wasting these things too.
Many of us will be enjoying some large meals over the next couple of days. Sadly, many families waste leftovers from these feasts – throwing leftovers and excess food away. But by taking a few simple steps, we can avoid waste and make sure we make the most of any food that remains after the ‘main event’.
- Be organised about putting leftovers in the fridge (or freezer if you do not anticipate eating them right away).
- Use sustainable products like beeswax wraps to keep food fresh.
- Save vegetable scraps and peelings to make a veggie stock to use in a range of recipes in the coming weeks.
- Research recipes for leftovers from your Christmas dinner. For example, use leftover potatoes and green vegetables to make traditional British ‘bubble and squeak’. Use leftover nut roast, vegetable loaves or stuffing as topping for a vegetable casserole. If you are having a traditional turkey, make a turkey pie, a turkey curry, turkey sandwiches, or any number of other dishes from what remains.
- Any leftovers on plates not given to pets or livestock – be sure to add them to a composting system. If you do not already compost food waste – set up a small system right away to make sure you do the right thing for people and our planet.