Food: it’s the center of every holiday gathering.
But between thinking about all those calories and the sheer quantity of food, most of us don’t consider how much of it gets wasted. In fact, the average American wastes between 209 and 253 pounds of food every year, with a fair amount of that waste occurring around the holidays. Here are some ways to reduce waste that will help you, your guests and the environment.
- Precycle. “Precycling” is when you avoid purchasing unnecessary items that will eventually have to be recycled or thrown away. For holiday meals, try to purchase products with less packaging, use durable dishware and cook only for the number of people who will eat at your gathering.
- Prepare healthy portions. Love Food Hate Waste’s online portion planner will tell you how much food to purchase based on the type of food you want to serve and the number of people who will eat it.
- Make a list and stick with it. A list will ensure you don’t forget anything and keep you from buying and spending too much.
- Let guests serve themselves. When guests serve themselves they can choose the items they actually want to eat.
- Use smaller plates. Smaller plates help fend off the dreaded “my-eyes-are-bigger-than-my-stomach” syndrome.
- Ask guests to bring reusable containers. This way you won’t have to eat all those leftovers yourself and your guests will have something to eat the next day. Plus you’ll reuse others’ containers instead of buying new ones.
- Compost your food scraps. To learn more visit HowToCompost.org.
Don’t forget to visit RecycleSpot.org for all of your holiday reuse and recycling needs!