How to enjoy a festive feast without the food waste this Christmas

Avoid waste this Christmas

Having a very ethical Christmas will be on many people’s minds as the festive season gets into full swing.

As well as choosing a vegan advent calendar to countdown to Christmas in a suitably sustainable style and purchasing thoughtful gifts for the people you love, preparing for Christmas day with the planet in mind is also recommended.

Food waste reaches its peak at Christmas, with some 4.2 million Christmas dinners binned in the UK at last count according to this research. As you’ll discover from the following tips, however, there are many ways that you can fill your stomach and save the planet this festive season.

Plan ahead

Planning is what Christmas is all about, and whilst you’re certain to have made a gift list – and checked it twice – putting the same care and attention into Christmas dinner planning will minimise waste dramatically.

Buy local

We’re all about local produce here at So Cosy, so choose independent shops and farmers’ markets to do your Christmas lunch shop where possible this year.

As well as being the source of some of the freshest food around, shopping local and independent will give you greater access to seasonal food, which is better for you and the planet.

Take your list with you when shopping for Christmas lunch. Try not to deviate from it – that’s right, you don’t need to indulge in that 3 for 2 deal on Christmas goodies! – to save money, minimise waste and help the environment.

Food waste

Use your leftovers

In addition to planning your meal and portion sizes to perfection, prepping your freezer so there’s plenty of room for leftovers is a must.

Leftovers can be stored for up to three months in the freezer and there are so many delicious Christmas leftover recipes that you can get creative with long after you’ve pulled your last cracker!

Leftover Christmas pudding doesn’t have to be wasted either thanks to this advice from Hubbub:

“If you’re about to serve up the Christmas pud and it comes out like a solid lump, don’t despair. Put the heavy pudding into a larger bowl and cut it up so that you get a lot of air into it. Crumble it if you can. Replace it into the original bowl. Microwave it. It heats up very quickly because the fruit conducts the microwave energy quicker than you might think. What might have been a solid lump will now be the lightest Christmas pudding you have ever eaten.”

If there’s no room in your freezer, store leftovers in airtight containers right away and place them in the fridge. They’ll be edible and enjoyable for up to two days.

Give the gift of food

If on Christmas Day, you’ve found that there’s food still left over, put it to good use. Store it in the fridge and take your leftovers along to that Boxing Day party, make mince and stock from your leftover meat, give the gift of food to someone less fortunate by donating to your local food bank, or pickle, preserve and ferment leftover fruits and veggies to use later down the line.

We’d love to hear your Christmas-inspired zero food waste tips, share them with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Image: Viktor Kochetkov, Daisy Daisy /