Waste-free festivities: These unique food tips will completely STOP food waste this Christmas

Around 4 million Christmas dinners end up in the bin in the UK every year.

Christmas is one of the most anticipated times of the year for many people. Unfortunately, it’s also the most wasteful period with 270,000 tons of festive food disposed of despite being edible. All festive foods that get thrown away every year amount to filling up 7 million bins.

A significant amount ends up in landfill where it rots and releases methane, which contributes to global warming. Yet, there’s a lot people can do to avoid this. To help Britons make more sustainable decisions this Christmas, we’ve put together 6 easy tips to reduce waste food this festive season.

Read more Christmas waste facts
Christmas dinner.

How far will our Christmas 
dinner waste take us?

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1. Turn your leftovers into soup

One of the easiest and most delicious ways to reuse your Christmas leftovers is by transforming your remaining vegetables, meats, and even grains into hearty soups or stews. It’s a great way to use up odds and ends that might otherwise be thrown away.

2. DIY a vegetable stock 

If there isn’t enough left to turn leftovers into soup, consider creating your very own vegetable stock. Vegetable scraps like onion ends, carrot peels, and herb stems can be collected and used to make a flavourful vegetable stock, reducing waste and adding a homemade touch to soups and stews.

3. Make candies out of excess fruit

If you have a surplus of fruits, consider making jams, jellies, or chutneys. For a particularly big excess of oranges, here’s a super tasty dessert you can make easily: just boil the orange peels for 10 minutes, soak them in a new bowl of water overnight, then move them to a pan, add sugar and orange juice (vanilla optional).

Stir and simmer over medium-low heat for 25 minutes, then remove them and let them dry on a rack. Once dried, coat them with more sugar and enjoy the sweet snack! The full recipe can be found here.

4. Revive stale bread

Turn stale bread into croutons for salads, breadcrumbs for coatings, or even a bread pudding. This is a simple way to give new life to bread that might otherwise be discarded. Another delicious option is to make bread pudding, where the stale bread’s ability to absorb flavours and custard makes for a rich, delightful dessert.

5. Use food scraps as compost

People and animals aren’t the only ones that love to feast on delicious Christmas dinners, your garden plants will also love the leftovers. Bits of fruits, vegetables, peelings and even turkey can be added to your compost pile – just ensure you cut it up first to help the decomposition process.

6. Donate what you can

If you have any leftover Christmas foods like biscuits, cakes, or mince pies that are still packaged, they make great donations for food banks. For the turkey, potatoes, and vegetables you no longer need, consider taking them to an animal shelter to feed the less fortunate dogs and kittens.

Reduce your Christmas food waste

Mark Hall, Director at Business Waste, says:

“It’s really unfortunate to see tons of Christmas food being wasted every year, with huge amounts ending up in landfill. There are plenty of ways we can still enjoy all the Christmas festivities in more sustainable ways.

If we all try to implement at least a few of the tips shared above, collectively, we could help reduce this year’s Christmas waste.”

How to reduce food waste at Christmas
food scraps on a chopping board.
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