It’s the holiday season, the most wonderful time of the year! Families and friends come together in cheer, and the holiday spirit beams from far to near. A time of giving and spending however, also follows a time of disposing. Stanford University reports that Americans produce 25% more waste during the holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year, of which also includes food waste. One million extra tons of waste make their way to the landfill. With that said, reducing, reusing, recycling, and even savoring every bite makes a difference! Here are 5 practical tips to spend the holidays a little lighter:
1. ‘Tis the season for a peppermint mocha or gingerbread lattes! Paper-based coffee cups are still lined with plastic on the inside, otherwise your hot drink would have crumbled your cup within 20 minutes (“Ohhh, that makes sense!” as my people would tell me). So don’t forget your reusable mugs or bottles. The one pictured below is silicone and collapsible for an easy, convenient fit in your bag or purse. They also make a great holiday gift, wink wink!
2. Last minute invite to a holiday party with no time to whip up a bite to bring? You can’t go wrong with fresh cut fruit or a bottle of wine! My go-to naked fruits that aren’t wrapped in plastic are pineapple, cantaloupe, papaya, watermelon, apples, cucumbers, and bananas! Then the excess waste can join the compost, or under the bushes if you’re unable to maintain a compost like me. Fruits are a healthy, delicious, and colorful option that everyone loves. Now if you got the last second party invite or just in a major time crunch, a bottle of wine or champagne may suffice. The glass bottle is recyclable, so cheers to that!
3. One of the most generic holiday gifts is a box of fancy chocolates; Ferrero Roche, Godiva, Toblerone, we’ve seen (and eaten) it all. But let’s be real, the box is pretty, chocolate is many people’s love language, but it is a one-size-fits-all type of gift. Maybe the $10 can go towards a more valuable experience such as a coffee date to their favorite local cafe, a lunch special, gourmet donuts (a fan favorite in my experience), or to comedic movie they’ve been waiting for.
4. Choose to eat family style when eating out with friends! We all have that one friend that is picky about leftovers and doesn’t believe in taking food home and therefore wastes valuable food that you secretly want to gobble up. When eating family style, you get to try a variety of foods for the price of your chosen dish and less food is wasted. Bon appetit!
5. Lastly, have a reusable container ready to go in your purse or car to pack up the leftovers at holiday parties and gatherings. Oh yes, another chance to enjoy Carol’s secret casserole recipe once more.
Do you have any tried and true methods to reduce food waste? Let’s hear them!