Did you know that during the November and December holidays, three times as much food is wasted than at other times of the year? In addition to food waste, it’s also a time when you can overspend on everything from holiday décor to entertaining needs.
Here are a few simple GREEN reminders worth remembering!
Create A Plan
Are you having guest over for a cocktail party to ring in good cheer, or even preparing a holiday dinner this year? Then, pull out your phone or notepad and pen and bullet out what events you’ll be hosting, and what you’ll need to celebrate — everything from décor, to linens, gifts, and food and drink. When you have a viable plan, you’re less apt to overspend and contribute to holiday food waste.
Shop Your Cabinets
Before you head out to the market, be sure to shop your cabinets to check out what décor, spices, and ingredients you already have in your cupboards. When you take a trip to your favorite local stores (with your reusable bags!), bring a list of the items you do need for that day’s shopping.
Remember to always think of buying “local” to help support the community. If you’re looking for something specific that you can’t find locally, check in with your favorite retailers online. They often have great sale prices (and FREE shipping). Purchases shipped directly to the recipient can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Choose gifts made from recycled materials as well as ones that operate using rechargeable batteries. When you are giving a gift, don’t forget to reuse a pretty bag or get creative your reusable packaging.
Get Creative with Leftovers
Tired of turkey sandwiches made with leftover from your holiday meal? Not sure what to do with all those leftover veggies? Get creative and mix it up. Serve leftover potatoes and stuffing with eggs or an omelet for breakfast. Toss those leftover cooked veggies in a smoothie or in with some chicken or vegetable stock and for a tasty soup.
Use LED lights for indoor and outdoor lighting (and turn off at bedtime) to save on energy and costs. Also, try to repurpose and recycle your holiday decorations. Create a pretty table centerpiece with pinecones from the yard, some of last year’s ornaments, and a wicker basket from your closet make a table setting stand out.
Got Leftover Canned Foods? Put a Smile on Someone’s Face. Food Share.
Food banks and shelters gladly welcome donations of canned and dried foods, especially during the holiday season and colder months. In Ventura County, reach out to Food Share in Oxnard, www.foodshare.com
Looking for more ideas on what to do with your aging fruits and veggies?
LISTEN TO THIS Sustainable Ventura PODCAST with City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Arriana Rabago for some great tips, click here.
–Maryann Ridini Spencer for SustainableVentura.TV