Food is undoubtedly a big player in waste during the Christmas season. But how can we reduce the amount of food wasted on Christmas?
On Christmas day you first need to think about how many people you are cooking for. Then think about the amount of food you will need. When it comes to meat BBC Good Food recommends for a party of 4-7 you will need a bird that weighs between 2-3kg. A medium whole turkey is almost double that which means that half of the bird will not be eaten on Christmas day. Maybe for a smaller party consider a large chicken or maybe just the turkey crown.
The same applies for side dishes, just sit and think, 1. What people would like to eat and 2. How much they will realistically eat? I know tradition is important. But really think about whether you are preparing food for tradition or if people at the meal actually want it. If no one likes sprouts, then leave them out.
I know it’s difficult to control gift packaging if you order online or if the person you are buying for wants one specific item that happens to be the most packaged thing in the world. However, if you are just browsing and find yourself deciding between two options, consider the quantity of packaging as a deciding factor.
I’m sure you are all aware of wrapping paper and how much waste it produces. Plastic coated bows and non-recyclable wrapping all have to go straight into the bin. As an alternative, consider recyclable paper options, like brown packing paper, used newspapers or sheet music. Decorate with cloth ribbons that can be reused, pressed flowers or a different coloured paper. Another alternative could be following the Japanese tradition of Furoshiki. This is the art of wrapping gifts in material, that can then be reused. A tote bag would be a good solution for this.
Advent calendars are a big part of Christmas; they kick off the festive season and get you officially into the Christmas spirit. However, there has been an increase in advent calendars containing unique/non-traditional goodies behind each door, such as cosmetics, toiletries, candles, etc. Whilst this is a fun lead up to Christmas, just think about how many of those 24 beauty products you’re actually going to use. If it’s all 24 then wonderful, but if it’s more like 10 or 12 then maybe you should reconsider your choice of advent calendar to avoid waste.
This one I wouldn’t necessarily consider waste, but it is something that I think is forgotten. And that is driving home for Christmas *insert Chris Rea*. I know there are many people reading this who are hosting Christmas or don’t have to travel far. But for those who do a long journey, you are probably well aware is not great for the environment and Co2 emissions.
So, consider a more environmentally friendly mode of getting home than simply driving, like taking the train or a coach. Do you know someone who is taking the same journey as you? Carpool back to your hometown. There are plenty of ride-sharing websites where you can see if there is someone making the same journey as you. It will be cheaper and it’s halving the Co2 emissions.