Christmas Waste

Christmas pictureIt’s the run up to Christmas and just as you may be (or maybe not!) getting excited about the festivities, food, time off and having some much-needed time with loved ones, your bin, cupboards and wallet may be groaning already!

Food waste, wrapping, cards and a whole heap of “stuff” that doesn’t get used or needed, is sometimes too unbearable to think about at Christmas and many of us can really feel quite guilty, overindulged and rather sad in the aftermath.

In a time where so many of us are being mindful about our environment, re-using, up-cycling and generally reducing our waste, Christmas comes bumbling along ready to undo a lot of the work we have done. So, how about taking this good practice we are beginning to adhere to and seeing it through the Christmas period? Develop a new system that your bins, wallet and conscience will thank you for.

Preparation Time.
Your freezer and cupboards could already be struggling under the strain of “stuff”, so use the weeks before Christmas to have a proper clear out of food. Make a POINT of not buying new food in and using things up. Rummage in your freezer, make meals from the tins and jars you were saving and make space. Not only will it create an attractive, easy area for leftovers that are unavoidable during the Christmas over-buying onslaught, but it will also save you a bit of cash to put towards presents too.

Stop buying anything in unnecessary packaging, especially over Christmas! Buy everything loose where possible, or re-fill. Look for presents that aren’t overly packaged with extravagant bows, plastic decorations and glitter (none of these are recyclable). Be creative with more organic ideas.

Decorations and Presents
Decorate your home with evergreens from the garden, garlands from natural products and stop buying in the shiny stuff that won’t go in the recycling. Use re-usable present bags and don’t buy the paper that can’t be recycled.

Lists and Food
Make yourself a firm list of the food and drinks you need for your Christmas period. Stick to it and don’t overbuy. Have some ingredients ready to be able to create meals from your leftovers so they don’t end up in the bin –

Puff Pastry - always good to top a veggie leftover pie.
Curry Paste – can’t say no to a leftover curry!
Tortilla Wraps – to either wrap up leftovers or make a leftover stew and cut them up to make a crunchy topping (or use leftover crisps).
Eggs (if you aren’t vegan) – a Spanish Omelette can soak up a lot of fridge ingredients.
Tinned Tomatoes – a tomato sauce can also soak up a number of leftovers, served with pasta or rice
A selection of herbs and spices to add some new flavours to your leftovers and disguise them!

It is easy to get carried away at Christmas, but it can be avoided with a little bit of planning and mindful shopping. Use your freezer for any items that are needing to be used up, but you just don’t have the time/inclination/space in the stomach to do anything with. Make a pact with yourself that you won’t add to the food waste created over Christmas and be proud of your creative thinking.

Saying all of that, it is still the time to relax a little and think about all the things you are thankful for – so find a balance, love the choices you make and love your Christmas.

Happy Christmas from all of us at Daily Bread!

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