It’s estimated that more than 18,000 tonnes of food waste goes to local composting facilities each year, much of it at the holidays, but a little pre-planning can make a big difference!

It’s estimated that more than 18,000 tonnes of food waste goes to local composting facilities each year, much of it at the holidays, but a little pre-planning can make a big difference!

8 ways to love food, reduce waste and save this holiday!

‘Tis the season to shop wisely and dress up your leftovers

As the calendar turns to December, it also heralds the season of delicious excess, with its turkey-induced belt-loosening and too many sweet indulgences.

But it’s also a time when food waste rises considerably, due in part to generous hosts and a desire to unwrap nostalgic recipes that may not have the fans they once did.

“It’s estimated that more than 18,000 tonnes of food waste goes to local composting facilities each year, much of it at the holidays,” says Russ Smith, senior manager of the CRD’s Environmental Resource Management team. “And, according to the CRD’s 2016 waste stream composition study, avoidable food waste, such as cooked vegetables, stale bread and meal leftovers, makes up about 10 per cent of our overall waste.”

That waste costs. According to the national Love Food Hate Waste project, each year the average Canadian household throws away about $1,100 of groceries that could have otherwise been eaten.

How can you avoid holiday food waste?

  1. Plan your portions. Reducing holiday food waste starts with rethinking how we shop. Few want to eat three-day-old turkey, so think about portions and your desired leftovers, then size your bird and sides accordingly.
  2. Break from tradition. Don’t buy Christmas food your family and friends don’t actually like – holiday meals are meant to be enjoyed, not endured! No Brussels sprouts fans? Serve a different vegetable to keep them out of your kitchen scraps bin. Turkey not their thing? Opt for a beautiful roast or ham instead.
  3. Clean out the fridge. Don’t shop too far in advance and before you shop, use up food that needs to be eaten to clear space in your fridge and freezer for new leftovers.
  4. Make a list, check it twice. Make a plan for your leftovers. Add ingredients you’ll need for turkey soup or sandwiches to your grocery list and try to choose ingredients that will have multiple uses. Want to serve cheese and charcuterie appies on Christmas Day? Choose items you can also use at your Boxing Day brunch.
  5. Save the fat. Rendered fat from your roast can be saved in the fridge for weeks to be used in future sauces, soups or stews. Even if you don’t save it, fats, oils and greases don’t belong in the drain. Pour cool grease or fat into a compostable container for disposal in your kitchen scraps bin (if your municipality offers this program) or, once full, place it in your garbage. Visit www.crd.bc.ca/fats for details.
  6. Send food out the door. Sharing leftovers is as much a part of Christmas as turkey fatigue and pumpkin pie. Ask guests to bring re-usable containers for leftovers.
  7. Step up your leftovers game. Get creative – after all, there’s more to surplus turkey than sandwiches, including curry, pot pie, casserole and even mashed potato gnocchi. Then use the carcass for a stock, a great base for soups, stews and risottos.
  8. Put it on ice. Get leftovers into the fridge one to two hours after serving dinner and freeze any food you won’t use within 48 hours. Frozen vegetables, for example, can be turned into a delicious future dip or used to make stock. Yum!

Just Posted

The orange parcel was bought by the CRD for $1.1 million to add to Mount Work Regional Park. (CRD map)
Capital Regional District expands Mount Work land for $1.1 million

Privately-owned 13.8 hectares in the Highlands is ecologcically valuable

North Saanich has received a report from the Urban Development Institute calling on the municipality to expand and densify its housing options in the face of demographic and environmental changes as the municipality continues its Official Community Plan review. (Black Press Media file photo)
North Saanich asked to create more affordable, diverse housing

Urban Development Institute says community faces demographic, environmental challenges

Dog trainer Sharon Labossiere at play with her dogs. AnimalKind, the BC SPCA’s animal welfare accreditation and referral program, has granted accreditation to Sooke's Hanging with Hounds. (Contributed - BC SPCA)
Hanging With Hounds digs its paws into AnimalKind accreditation

Local dog trainer earns special BC SPCA status

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Royal Bay pride crosswalk restored following graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Colwood high school

Protesters seen here rallying against the injunction order on April 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP enforce injunction at Fairy Creek blockade

Protesters can remain but police will ensure open access for loggers

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Nathan Zuk had left his mother’s residence in Whaletown on Cortes Island in mid-December 2020 in a 14’ skiff rowboat and headed to an unknown location near the Pryce Channel, Deer passage, or Toba Inlet. Photo courtesy RCMP
RCMP need help finding man who set off from Cortes Island in 14-foot rowboat

Nathan Zuk left in December, may have been last seen in Toba Inlet approximately three weeks ago

Emergency service workers at the collision scene along Highway 4 in Hilliers on Sunday, May 16. A motorcyclist was airlifted to hospital by BC Air Ambulance and later died. (Collin C photo)
UPDATE: Motorcyclist dies from injuries sustained in Mid-Island highway collision

BC Highway Patrol says impairment not a contributing factor in crash

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Most Read