For many of us, the holidays simply are not complete until we are digging into a traditional feast with friends and family. The food is an incredibly important component in the holiday, however, it can also be an incredibly wasteful component as well. Metro Vancouver’s Create Memories, Not Garbage campaign has shared many useful tips and resources regarding cutting down on food waste, they have also shared that approximately 30% of everything we send to landfills every day is food waste. Let’s try and cut down on that number, especially over the holidays with some of these easy and impactful tips.
1. Plan Ahead: Holiday shopping can be very overwhelming considering the number of people we are feeding, their food preferences and the short time frame available to get everything done. Planning ahead and taking inventory before even stepping into your local grocery store can make a big difference in the aftermath of the holidays. Some ways to plan ahead to cut down on food waste include check what you have at home before you shop, make a list so you stick to only the things you need, shop in bulk, buy local products wherever possible, and bring your own reusable shopping bags. Lastly, do not shop on an empty stomach! I am sure we have all been there where you get home and realize you did not actually need that whole wheel of cheese, extra-large tub of peanut butter and full roaster chicken as a mid-day snack.
2. Entertain with Food Waste in Mind: In between shining the silverware and juggling casseroles, it can be difficult to find the time to think about how you will cut down on food waste at the end of your holiday meal. Many of us will end up with a pile of leftovers that are simply unsurmountable on our own, especially by day three when we can’t imagine eating another bite of turkey. A great way to enjoy leftovers is to convert them into something else so that you and your family do not get bored of the same meal. Also, sharing leftovers with those you had over for the meal or neighbours is another great way to reduce waste. Invite your guests to bring over reusable containers to take home doggy-bags and avoid using disposable items such as saran and tin foil wherever possible. If there is any extra food that will not be repurposed into a “new-leftover” recipe or shared than remember to use your own compost pile or your green bin.
3. More Resources: Check out Metro Vancouver’s Love Food, Hate Waste to learn even more tips ranging from planning, serving to clean up to combat food waste at this time of year!
There are so many easy, inexpensive and impactful ways we can all make a difference this Holiday season when it comes to our everyday traditions. Thank you so much for following our Metro Vancouver Make Memories, Not Garbage inspired holiday series- Happy Holidays from the Burnaby Board of Trade and The Pledge for a Sustainable Community!
Find a complete list of all of Metro Vancouver’s Create Memories Not Garbage tips here.