Reduce your holiday food waste

December 5, 2023

’Tis the season for good food, quality time with family and friends, and holiday cheer!

As we prepare for holiday parties and feasts, let’s review a few easy tips to keep the season merry while minimizing food waste and saving money.

Minimize food waste when you:

  • Plan Ahead – Go to the grocery store or farmers market with a plan for what to buy and how you will use it. Impulse buying often leads to waste.
  • Share – Offer extra sweets and treats to family, friends, and neighbors. If you’re hosting a dinner, supply guests with to-go containers or ask them to BYOC (bring your own container) to take leftovers home.
  • Repurpose Ingredients – Make stock with leftover vegetable scraps and bones, toss old bread into the food processor to make breadcrumbs, or cube and toast it to make croutons.
  • Reinvent Leftovers – Get creative and consider whether your leftovers can be transformed into casseroles, stir fry, skillet meals, stuffing, lettuce wraps, salads, and soups.
  • Freeze It – Portion and freeze excess food for quick and easy weeknight meals.

Maximizing meals is an essential part of sustainability, but there will inevitably be some food waste that needs to be disposed. When it comes to spoiled food and food scraps, remember to collect organic waste in a kitchen pail (or any food container of choice). You can line your container with a compostable bag, paper bag, or newspaper before tossing your food waste. To help prevent odors, sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda into the food waste to help absorb moisture. And if you can spare the space, store your container in your refrigerator or freezer until it’s full. Then, you can just empty your container into your compost pile at home or a collection container if your community offers one.

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