Meal planning ensures a Merry Christmas on budget

Date: 20-Nov-14
Author: Ryan Collins

Food Waste © Planet Ark

Mouth-watering roasts, delectable desserts, glasses of bubbly and plum pudding - indulging in festive treats with friends and family are some of the most enjoyable aspects of any seasonal gathering.

Yet all this eating, drinking and partying means that it is the time of year when we generate the most waste and consume extra resources; not such a great gift for the planet.

Households spend an average of $1,036 per year on food that is wasted, which adds up to around $8bn nationally. Food waste is especially rife at Christmas, and this year we are expected to spend $18.5bn on food.

Planet Ark is asking everyone to undertake some simple actions to reduce their impact on the environment and their pockets over the festive season.

Planet Ark's The 12 DOs of Christmas awareness campaign includes tips for reducing food waste and excess packaging, buying green gifts, and recycling items like wrapping paper, foil, cartons, drink containers, plastic and cards as well as electronics and batteries.

"Most people buy more than we need at Christmas, but a few minutes of meal planning can make a big difference to your environmental impact and your budget over the festive season," says Planet Ark Spokesperson Rebecca Gilling. "It's one of the easiest ways to prevent food wastage and save yourself some money."

Composting or wormfarming is a great way to get rid of the unavoidable food scraps from your Christmas lunch. As much as half of all municipal waste that goes to landfill is food waste.

Contamination of recycling bins at the work Christmas party and at home is another environmental impact easily avoidable through clear signage for guests, and learning what is acceptable in your kerbside recycling bin.

Check out RecyclingNearYou.com.au, a comprehensive household recycling directory that lists options for a variety of items, to find out what's acceptable in your recycling bin in your council area.

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