Christmas is fast approaching and while it is a time of celebration for many of us, it is also the most wasteful time of the year. Too much food, too many unwanted gifts and generally, too much of a rush. As with everything in life, if we want to reduce the waste we create at Christmas – so it does not become Wastemas, then we need to spend a bit more time in planning.
There is still time to think about the type of Christmas you want to have. What is important to you? Family traditions, spending time with loved ones, being generous, rest and relaxation, lots of celebrations and fun or eating wonderful food? Whatever Christmas means to you, remember that all the great stuff we have done during the year to make our community and environment more sustainable shouldn’t be forgotten as we ponder on the value of a cheap plastic toy gift.
So much of our Christmas celebrations revolve around food. When you are planning meals, plan to the plate, not to what you think your stomach wants. With buffet style meals, we often want to try a bit of everything. With this in mind, cater for what will fit on a plate and no more. If we have to have seconds just to try everything on offer there is a good chance you will have lots of leftovers to deal with. If you share the load with preparing food and also with distributing out the leftovers then you can reduce your food waste. Make sure everyone brings a sizeable container for any leftovers and then you’ve given the gift of a Boxing Day that doesn’t require any cooking.
If you serve your Christmas dishes in containers that are beautiful on display and also have lids for putting away any leftovers straight after the meal then you can ensure that your leftovers can be put into the fridge quickly and easily. This will reduce the chances of it being thrown out. No-one likes dodgy food or having to wrestle with cling wrap.
While it would be great if we could keep our waste to a minimum over Christmas, make sure you can sort your waste out, and get it into the right bins. With that in mind, make sure your bins are clearly marked for recycling, composting, or even reusing (kids love boxes) and minimise what goes to landfill . Remember that during the holiday period you kerbside collections may change so check with your council.