How to Make Your Christmas Dinner More Sustainable
Find out how to plan, prep and shop your way to a more sustainable Christmas dinner.
Many of us might never stop to question the environmental impact of something as familiar and traditional as our Christmas dinners. Busy with the rest of our festive preparations, the thought of organising and planning a sustainable Christmas dinner might seem like an added burden. But as well as being important, planning a more sustainable kind of lunch doesn't have to be complicated. I have put together some simple, low-hassle tips on how to make your Christmas dinner as eco-friendly as possible.
Reduce Food Waste
It sounds simple enough, but the right kind of planning will play a big part in ensuring you end up with as little food waste as possible. Before doing your big shop, start by considering how many people you are cooking for and what kind of foods they enjoy. Thinking back to previous Christmases might help you remember exactly what people liked and what kinds of foods were binned. Regardless of how traditional or festive some foods are, try not to include things on your Christmas menu that people might not eat. A common offender is the Christmas pudding. 5 million puddings a year are wasted, so researching great alternatives that people are more likely to enjoy, is the safer, more sustainable route to go down. Here is a guide to some delicious Christmas pudding alternatives.
When it comes to doing your actual food shopping, don’t be tempted to overshop! Once you enter those enticing festive food isles, all rationale and good-intentions can quickly fly out the window. Surrounded by curious-sounding seasonal treats - before you know it, you could be back at home unpacking mince pie sausages, chocolate covered brussel sprouts and all sorts of other bits and bobs that were never on your list! Of course trying new products can be part of the fun at Christmas, and while you don’t want to scrimp and scrooge - an ethical lunch will mean not going overboard. It’s about having a good game plan and doing your best to stick to it!
Get creative with leftovers
Leftovers are often an inevitable (and delicious) part of the Christmas dinner aftermath. Boxing Day and beyond are a great time to use them up to avoid them going in the bin. Maybe you’ll even find it useful to pre-plan some recipes for the leftovers to make sure you know what to do with everything that doesn’t get eaten. From a turkey curry to mince pie ice cream, there are so many delicious things to make with Christmas leftovers that can be frozen and enjoyed well into the new year.
If you do end up with a lot of surplus food, especially stuff that’s not opened, you could also consider looking up where your nearest Community Fridge is or look up your local Food Bank on The Trussell Trust. Alternatively, for any compostable bits, check to see if your postcode offers a local food waste collection service here.