As we plan our seasonal celebrations, the kitchen invariably takes centerstage. From the holiday turkey to the tasty treats to the festive table decorations, these are as entwined with our holiday activities as the good company that enjoys them.
But with all those festivities, waste follows. After all, there are only so many shortbread cookies, Mandarin oranges and grandma’s latkes we can enjoy. Add to that the table décor, serving trays and other related materials, and it’s easy to see that while it’s the season to celebrate, ‘tis also the season to reduce the amount of waste produced in the kitchen!
Following the principles of the ‘3R pollution prevention hierarchy’ — reduce first, reuse second and recycle third — the Capital Regional District shares the following 10 timely tips to reduce the environmental impact of kitchen waste this holiday season:
- Right-size your dinner: Plan portions appropriately and prepare only what your guests will eat, perhaps considering a smaller bird or forgoing less popular dishes. The good news? You’ll likely save a little money in the process!
- Eat family style: Encourage guests to serve themselves, allowing them to choose what – and how much – to eat. This way, there’s less need to dispose of served but uneaten food.
- Reuse leftovers: Save leftovers in reusable containers or deliver them to a friend. Going to a family or friend’s house for dinner? Bring your own container and if there’s leftovers on offer, take some!
- Avoid single-use items: Swap out disposable linens, dishes and cutlery for the real deal, and don’t be afraid to mix and match or borrow.
- Compost unavoidable food waste: Bones, fruit and vegetable peels, carrot tops, egg shells, tea bags, paper plates and more belong in your green bin, not your garbage.
- Be waterwise: Thaw your turkey in the fridge instead of using running water. You can also reuse water from cooking vegetables in soups, gravies, sauces or for watering your plants.
- Keep your sink fat-free: Holiday cooking means more fats, oils and greases. Save and store fats for use in future recipes or dispose of them in your green bin – just be sure they don’t end up down the drain where they don’t belong.
- Recycle your containers: After dinner, recycle aluminum trays, whipped cream cans, eggnog cartons and deli trays in your blue box. Never miss your collection day with the RecycleCRD app.
- Host a cookie swap: If you find yourself with too much holiday baking – or want an excuse to bake more! – invite a few friends over for a cookie swap.
- DIY your holiday centrepiece: You’ll find many decorations right in your own backyard: pinecones, cedar boughs and sprigs of holly look beautiful as a centrepiece for your holiday dinner. The added bonus? They smell amazing!
Reducing your holiday waste can be just that easy! Learn more about how to make memories and not waste at www.crd.bc.ca/memories.