Have Yourself an Eco Friendly Christmas
If you care about sustainability and if you are eco conscious, you are probably already aware that in the U.K people throw away an obscene amount of food. According to the Food Standards Agency “we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten. Wasting this food costs the average household in the UK £470 a year.”
Obviously we want to reduce waste year round but the problem is so much worse at this time of year. People buy too much food at Christmas and that’s why so much is thrown away. Most shops are only closed for one day and yet the amounts bought average 169.00 per household just on food for Christmas day!
Not to mention the amount of plastic waste, non-recyclable packaging and bin bags being thrown out too! So I am on a mission to ensure we all consciously consume this Christmas.
First things first, plan your dining. We all like to have little luxuries and foodie treats to snack on over the festive period, but be sensible. Think about when you will be at home and how much you will realistically eat. If you are entertaining, plan your menu in advance and buy enough food for the amount of people you are catering for. Stuck for ideas? Take a look at my blog post with seasonal recipes.
When it comes to Christmas Day’s food, most of us know about utilising Christmas dinner leftovers over the following days with cold cuts and salad, potato salads, sandwiches and turkey curry. Personally I love making bubble and squeak with left over veggies and having it with a poached egg. But it’s also yummy with any leftover turkey, ham or even on it’s own… This is a good option for minimising food waste – especially for the veggies that aren’t ideal contenders for freezing.
That said a lot of people forget the trusty freezer over Christmas. Remember, you can freeze some of your leftovers too. From ham and meats to Christmas cake! Just make sure you freeze food in sensible portion sizes. It is best to have food frozen separately as a few portions rather than in one large chunk that is hard to defrost and too much to eat. Once you have defrosted it, you can’t freeze it again.
Consider local refuges and food banks over Christmas too. Normally they want canned or longer life goods but if you have food going spare, reach out to someone in need.
We’ve covered off the food basics, now what about Christmas presents? I do try and buy eco friendly brands and I like to check that packaging is minimal or at least appropriate for the gift, as well as recyclable of course.
Do try to buy local and UK made products where you can. Shopping independent is even better in my book but it can be quite difficult to do for certain products and gifts! Try not to use online sites with delivery – though this is another challenge for busy folk. If you find something online, most stores will match the price if you ask them and show them on your mobile device.
My parting words of wisdom – just do your best. We can’t be perfect but if we all tried to consciously consume and make small changes it will certainly make for a less wasteful Christmas.
Good luck and enjoy the season!