News | 9 December 2022
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Ways to avoid food waste this Christmas

Preparing and sharing kai is an enormous part of Christmas. We put so much work into creating beautiful meals, so it doesn’t seem right that we waste significantly more food over the festive season. Food waste already makes up one third of Wellingtonian’s waste, and over the holidays this increases by 40 percent.

Christmas feast.

When we waste food, we waste money and resources. On top of that food waste is a serious contributor to climate change. When kai is thrown away it ends up in landfill, where it breaks down without air and produces methane that leads to global warming. While there are better ways to deal with food waste – like composting and worm farms – the best thing we can do is avoid wasting food in the first place.  

Check out some tips on how to avoid food waste from our waste minimisation team. 

Containers in the fridge,

1. Spend time meal planning

30 minutes leading up to Christmas could save you time, stress, money, and waste. To start, plan fridge harvest meals to use up half-filled jars and sad veges. This will help declutter the fridge, then do a meal plan for the days leading up to Christmas with family favourites, a night for eating leftovers and maybe a night to try a new recipe.

Notepad and pen on a table.

2. Stick to your shopping list

This is simple - write a list and stick to it. Think about your meals, how many guests you’ll have, and only buy what’s needed.

Take a photo of your pantry to refer to at the supermarket, so you won’t end up buying unnecessary items. If you don’t know how and when you’re going to eat something, don’t buy it. Consult with family and friends so you’re not doubling up on items.


3. Plan for your leftovers

How are you going to eat and store leftovers? If you’re having ham, turkey, or roast veges use leftovers in pizza, wraps, or frittata? For inspiration, check out apps like Super Cook or Love Food Hate Waste (LFHW) for tips to make your food go further.

Eat food from your freezer to make space for Christmas leftovers. No need to buy freezer bags - you can freeze things in jars, so save your empties! Cooked meat can be frozen, just keep it separate from uncooked meat.

Before Christmas events, encourage guests to bring reusable containers to take leftovers home. If you’re going away for the holidays, work out what you need to eat before you go and what you can bring with you. Split things like bread, and even cheese, into portions and freeze. Give things you haven’t eaten to friends and neighbours.

The great thing about Christmas is we can look back on years past and make improvements. Did you get sick of eating ham for four days post-Christmas and then throw it out? Did you make too many pavlovas? We don’t need to continue traditions that cost money and the earth.  For more information on food storage, meal planning and cooking with leftovers check out Love Food Hate Waste website.