Food and Drinks

Food Waste © Planet Ark

There are many simple ways to reduce the environmental impact of our holiday food and drinks, whether it's a quiet meal or a feast with family and friends. We can make green choices in selecting products and packaging, keeping food wastage down, and recycling our containers and food scraps.

Feasting

  • Plan your meals in advance and shop to a list ... Are you really going to use that extra box of mince pies? Financially and environmentally it's better to buy more later if you need it, than to waste what you have too much of.
  • Choose goods that aren't over-packaged to minimise what you'll need to dispose of and go for packaging that's easy to recycle.
  • Cutting down on red meat is a starting point because of the resources, land and energy used in the meat supply process. For example, it takes up to 50,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of beef.
  • Avoid buying and eating overfished fish as these species face extinction. For more information on sustainable seafood please visit the Australian Marine Conservation Society website.
  • Buying organic, free range, locally produced food and native produce is also important because it supports food growth without chemicals, and reduces the amount of water, energy and carbon dioxide emissions used to produce and transport food.
  • Find inventive ways to use leftovers. The turkey sandwich was invented on Boxing Day, and Christmas pudding tastes just as good re-heated.
  • When food has to be disposed of put it in a compost bin, bokashi bucket or worm farm to reduce the harmful methane emissions that are generated when food scraps decompose in landfill. Fruits and vegetable scraps are perfect for composting - a great natural fertilizer that your garden will love!

Drinks

When stepping out (or staying in) for a celebratory drink this festive reason, remember the following:
  • There is an increasing range of organic and/or carbon neutral beers and wines.
  • Organic wine also makes a nice gift.
  • Opt for beer on tap, rather than bottled beer, it saves on the resources involved in making, transporting and recycling a single-use bottle.
  • Remember to recycle all of your glass bottles (and jars), but don't put any other kind of glass in your home recycling bin otherwise it will contaminate the good recyclables.
  • Aluminium cans and plastic drink bottles also belong in your home recycling bin, just make sure that you remove the lids and remaining liquid from bottles before you put them into the recycling bin.
  • Corks can also be recycled; for information visit RecyclingNearYou.com.au

More information

Check out the Love Food Hate Waste website for a comprehensive guide to reducing food waste and making the most of your grocery dollars, including their Top 5 Tips For This Festive Season, portion calculator, delicious recipes, food storage and saving tips, and much more. 

Don't miss our Factsheet on Reducing Food Waste & Recycling Food Scraps.    

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