Eating is the focal point of the day for most Christmas celebrations, but cutting carbon and waste out of a meal doesn’t have to have any impact on your enjoyment of the day. The following are tips on ways to reduce your environmental impact:
- Prepare the right amount of food for the number of people you want to feed – do you really need that mountain of Brussels sprouts or a vat of mashed potatoes?
- Plan your pre-Christmas supermarket shop to ensure you know what meals you are buying things for, so you don’t end up throwing extra things in the trolley that you will not need.
- If you are stuck when choosing what to cook for your main course, turkey has a lower carbon footprint than beef, and vegetarian options are even lower than that.
- Don’t preheat the oven for too long, or leave it on after the meal is prepared to keep food heated. If you have the oven switched off but cover dishes with foil and replace them in the oven, they will stay warm.
- Let people serve themselves the amount they want to eat rather than dishing it out – food left in a serving dish can be eaten as left-overs the next day, whereas food left on plates will be binned.
- Don’t overdo it on cheese – this has a very high carbon footprint.
- Make sure to use your leftovers in the days after Christmas – if there is too much to eat then share it around.
- Make your own biscuits and sweets, which avoids all that unnecessary wrapping as well as being much tastier.
- Christmas crackers add to the Christmas cheer, but consider getting ones with just jokes and hats, as the vast majority of gifts inside the crackers never last beyond the end of the meal. Make sure to recycle the paper and cardboard afterwards.