Tis' the Season ... to Waste Less Food
The end of the year is approaching, and for many that means time to break out those once-a-year treats! Dinner parties, cookies and other food traditions can be an important part of the holidays for anyone. Unfortunately, that can also mean more food waste, which means wasted energy, time, land, resources, and potential food for those in need.
So how do you reduce food waste around the holidays? Here are a few easy steps you can take!
Plan Holiday Meals in Advance
Sometimes for big dinners we tend to purchase a lot of everything, to ensure full plates and leftovers. But over-buying can often mean we 'bite off more than we can chew,' and end up throwing out a portion of our plates. Plan proportions in advance by thinking about how many people will be attending, how much they eat, and avoiding impulse purchases. Savethefood.com is an excellent resource – it calculates your cooking quantities for you! All you have to do is input how many guests you will be expecting and what you plan to make.
Buy Food in Bulk
Going to your local grocery and utilizing the bulk section allows you to only buy the quantity you need, rather than full portions. It also means you can use your own container, and totally eliminate packaging waste! Zero Waste Home has a free app that lets you search for local stores with bulk buying options.
Send Leftovers Home
Send your guests off with leftovers in reusable jars or containers! Not only will you be off the hook for finishing them all by yourself, but your guests will walk away happy. Or consider donating leftover food to organizations who will accept individual donations.
Compost Food Scraps
Still have too much food after the event? Vegetable or meat scraps can be frozen and used to make delicious homemade broth later on. If you end up with leftovers after all that, take them to your backyard compost. Your garden will thank you!