Avoiding Festive Waste

At Christmas it’s tempting to stock up on your favourite foodie goodies, and in a bid to please everybody (and crucially, keep the peace..!), preparing too much food is almost inevitable. But going overboard on the festive spreads can mean that whatever doesn’t end up on your waistline, ends up in the bin. Now, we aren’t suggesting scrimping on the pigs in blankets. Heaven forbid! But by following some of our top tips, you’ll be able to ease the burden on wallets and waistlines that comes with the festive period.

1) Plan, plan, plan

Start by planning what to buy - think carefully about the number of people who will be eating with you and how much you will need per person. Use tools like the party portion planner on the Love Food Hate Waste website that can help you work out how much to buy for larger groups.

Make a shopping list and stick to it – by doing this you're less likely to buy things on impulse that you don't actually want or need. 

2) Get smart with your Christmas shopping

Steer clear of too many two-for-one Christmas deals or discounted multipacks. Buy what you actually need and know when you plan to use it, otherwise it could be destined straight for the bin.

Don’t go shopping when hungry – this is a particular hazard around Christmas, with temptations a-plenty in the supermarket aisles. Trust us, head to Waitrose on an empty stomach and you’ll end up with a trolley full of Tyrrells.

When shopping for gifts, watch out for packaging - if you can buy loose or in paper packaging, it will cut down on waste.

3) Avoid the detox panic

Come Boxing Day, try to pre-empt the inevitably rash decision to go on a puritanical diet of ‘only kale and cayenne water’, whilst throwing all your indulgent foods in the bin. Before attempting to get a smug head-start on your New Year’s resolutions – think again, why not turn your leftovers into lighter dishes. Keep an eye out for our leftover recipe ideas coming soon!

4) Wrap with a conscience 

Wrapping presents and writing cards are a big part of the festive ritual but they are also two of the biggest sources of waste at Christmas. Research suggests that paper waste over the Christmas period is equivalent to 5-12 million litres of biofuel - that’s enough to power a bus to travel to the moon 20 times! So before you purchase a load of rolls and glittery cards from the high street, consider some alternative options:

  • Gather together old magazines, newspapers, maps or even cloth to wrap your presents in. This is the perfect excuse to get cosy and have a DIY Saturday in front of the fire.
  • If you don’t have the time to make your own, try and avoid buying the metallic or plastic coated wrapping paper and instead go for recycled paper or paper that can be recycled after its use. Some beautifully designed eco-wrapping paper can be found here.
  • Recycle an old gift bag. Just make sure you don’t accidentally give it back to the person who gave it to you!

Final thoughts..

So when you’re slumped on the sofa in a post-prandial daze - one hand on your discernibly rounder tum and the other clasping the remains of a large glass of port – take a moment to think about how you can be savvy this Christmas.

No matter what your reasons for wanting to reduce waste this Christmas, we hope these tips work for you and if you have any new ideas to share, please let us know by posting in the comments below!