From Rev Elizabeth Raine
Minister - Tuggeranong Uniting Church
Christmas has been called ‘the world’s greatest annual environmental disaster’, which given it is supposed to be the season of joy and generosity, is something of a shock. Yet Christmas does have a huge impact in terms of the pollution and waste that is generated. In fact, it is estimated that Australians spend 60 percent more of our incomes and generate 30 percent more household waste over the Christmas period. That is a lot of extra stuff to deal with.
To help you reduce your amount of Christmas waste, this week we will be looking at how to cut down on food wastage.
Christmas is a time where we love to eat whilst we celebrate but generates a lot of food waste. As a whole, the nation spends an extra $554 million on extra food, with a third of it going to waste. Kate Gibbs, editor at Delicious magazine, states that not only does Christmas time negatively impact our wallets, but the environment also pays a high price for the increase of waste during December.
“When we waste food, it breaks down in landfill and produces methane, a greenhouse gas,” she says. “But in throwing away food, we also waste the resources used to grow and create it; think water, soil and energy, as well as the energy it takes to process, package, and transport food to wherever we buy it.”
Here are some tips to help you reduce that food waste this Christmas.
The number one thing you can do to lower your food waste over Christmas is to plan ahead and resist the urge to impulse buy. We all like to see a table groaning with abundant food at
Christmas, it is more sensible to limit our food to what we can eat.
Cut back on processed food
Not only does processed food use more water and energy, it also comes with more packaging. Try making things from scratch instead, such as rum balls, Christmas cake and slice, and don’t buy individually wrapped sweets.
Consider how much energy and water were used
When you purchase Christmas food, consider how much water and energy may have been used to grow/produce/make the item. For example, throwing away one burger wastes the same amount of water as a 90-minute shower.
Make space in your fridge and freezer for leftovers.
Ensure there is room in your fridge freezer to store leftovers. Turn next day leftovers into gourmet meals. Jamie Oliver has an excellent leftover turkey and leek pie, for example. You can find it here https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/turkey-recipes/turkey-and-sweetleek-
Compost your unusable leftovers
Put your fruit and veggie scraps into compost. If you haven’t room for a compost bin, consider getting a bokashi bucket (Bunnings stock a few types) or joining a compost share network such as Sharewaste..