Reduce Food Waste This Holiday Season
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, household waste in the U.S. increases by more than 25 percent. Greeting cards, wrapping paper and decorations all contribute to the 1 million extra tons to landfills.
That also includes food, which is already wasted at insurmountable levels in the U.S. year-round. The holiday season is no exception, with an average of 5 million more pounds of food wasted during that time.
So before you over-purchase and over-prepare this holiday season, consider these tips on how to reduce food waste.
5 Ways to Reduce Food Waste During the Holidays
Tip #1: Plan Ahead and Buy Less
Whether you’re hosting Christmas dinner or a New Year’s Eve extravaganza, it’s best to plan ahead. Don’t plan too far ahead, though, or you could end up with spoilage. Give yourself a few days. Determine how many guests you’re expecting and plan your meal accordingly. Take some time to come up with a grocery list. This will reduce the risk of impulse purchases and help with preventing food waste.
Tip #2: Get Scrappy
As tempting as it may be to toss food scraps into the trash, toss them into a compost bin instead. A compost bin is an outdoor container that produces compost from garden refuse and other organic waste.
Tip #3: Freeze Leftovers
Want to know how to save food? Leftovers is a start. The holidays have a knack for producing plenty of leftovers, and instead of throwing them away, freeze them. Store all that leftover ham, turkey and other holiday staples in Tupperware.
Tip #4: Create New Meals
Speaking of leftovers, make the most of them. Rather than eating turkey and ham for three straight days, create new meals from those leftovers. Try making a turkey pot pie or a creamy ham casserole. There’s plenty of leftover ideas on the web if you need any inspiration.
Tip #5: Spread the Love
It’s better to give than to receive. After all, it’s the Season of Giving. Encourage family and friends to take leftovers home or donate to a local food bank or shelter. This includes any canned food or dried goods that you didn’t use or won’t use. It makes much more sense to donate excess food to those that could use it rather than having food sit in your pantry, or worse, thrown out.
Barney, Paul. “How to Reduce Food Waste During the Holiday Season.” The Fill, n.d. Web.