The Earth Rewards Guide to Planet-Friendly Christmas Food
As well as spending time with our loved ones, Christmas revolves around food. From advent calendars to mince pies and turkeys to Brussels sprouts, we consume 80% more food over the festive season than the rest of the year. How does this impact the planet?
The average UK household spends over £174 on food for Christmas Day alone. As a nation, we consume 10 million turkeys, 370 million mince pies, 205 million glasses of champagne. These festive foods mixed with our over-indulgence creates a combination of increased plastic waste, meat consumption and food miles which all impact our planet. According to a study from the University of Manchester, this has the same impact as a single car travelling 6000 times around the planet!
We know that if you’ve found your way to our page, then the environment and protecting our planet is one of your priorities. So, what steps can you take to ensure planet-friendly Christmas food is on the menu?
For your everyday impact reducing tips, you can use our wonderful app. Not only can you calculate, manage and reduce your impact, but you’ll also earn rewards and your actions help protect an important area in the Amazon too. For more hints and tips to keeping your Christmas food planet-friendly, keep on reading…
Planet-friendly Christmas food tips
Have a veggie feast
Last year, Tesco reported that 1 in 5 households will be cooking a vegetarian Christmas dinner and the number’s on the rise! Reducing the amount of meat and dairy products we eat is probably the simplest way we can reduce our carbon footprint. Remember, meat and dairy products provide relatively few calories (15%) to our diets, but account for a whopping 60% of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.
If you’re looking for a show-stopping centrepiece for your table on the 25th, here are our top 3 tried and tested recipes:
We were reading about a vegan ham experiment this weekend but we’re not convinced. If you do try it and have a recipe that works, then please share with us on our social channels!
Cut back on the plastic
From food packing to your shopping bags, the plastic that we use is unnecessary and pollutes our environment. Every piece of plastic that has ever been produced still exists today in one form or another – shocking but true. There are loads of ways you can cut down on your plastic, especially when it comes to our festive meals.
- Don’t use single-use plastic cutlery, plates or glasses this season, stick to washable, reusable tableware. Need extra plates? Ask for them for Christmas or for your guests to bring extra.
- Take your own containers and bags when you go shopping and try and buy loose foods to save on the packaging.
- Cut the crackers – Although fun, decorative and traditional, crackers are not great for the environment. Paper hats and jokes can be recycled, and so can the cardboard from the cracker itself (as long as it’s not shiny or glittery). Plus, the plastic toys they contain are often just thrown away. There are planet-friendly crackers out there, but you can also make your own and fill them with homemade biscuits or treats!
Reduce food waste
Did you know that food waste accounts for 8% of our total global warming? This includes waste all along the production and consumption chain from farm and factory to table. With eyes bigger than our stomachs, of the 10 million turkeys and 307 million mince pies that we buy, we bin the equivalent of 2 million turkeys and 74 million mince pies. On average this equates to 230,000 tonnes of food over Christmas! SO how can you cut down?
- Buy what you need, make a list and don’t get tempted to buy extra. Not only will this reduce over-consumption and eventual waste, but also save you money.
- Get creative with your leftovers with the help of Waitrose, The Guardian and the BBC. Chef Google also has a wealth of recipes to keep you going to ensure you don’t get bored with the ingredients in your fridge.
- Freeze your foods from meat to veg and sweets stuff. You don’t need to finish everything immediately or suffer from food fatigue. Save your leftovers for a rainy day.
What about you, our readers?
These are just a few ideas from our team, but we’d love to hear about the ways you are reducing your impact this Christmas! Share your tips, tricks and ideas with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
Give the Gift of Earth Rewards
Sharing is caring this season, so why not help your family and friends reach their green goals in 2020? Get them to download the Earth Rewards app (available on Google Play and App Store) and invite them to join our growing community of Eartherz!