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waste not want not

Let’s face it, we are all guilty of a little bit of over indulging during the festive period. However, there a simple steps we can take to reduce waste and our impact on the environment which go one step further than enjoying a mayonnaise-laced turkey bap on Boxing Day

1. Planning ahead

Menu planning for the festive period will make sure you do not over buy. Planning each meal will make sure you don’t end up with food you do not eat. Try using the same ingredients in a few meals to keep your costs down and always check the sell by date.

2. Freezer space

Make sure that there is space in your freezer to store anything that can be kept. Label it clearly, wrap it all properly and enjoy in January. Using ice cube tray or freezer bags is the perfect way to freeze any leftover wine, fizz and gravy.

3. Sprout tacos: get creative with your leftovers

Smothered in smoky chipotle sauce and enjoyed with all the usual Mexican trimmings, sprout tacos are all the rage. Other favourites of mine include Panettone and croissants for the best bread and butter pudding, cheese board scraps tart, left over potato and carrot Boxing Day rosti.

4. Get souping

January is the perfect time to get cosy with warming home-made soups and broths. Boil the turkey bones for stock, blitz all the veggies to make soups that you can freeze.

5. Loose and local

If you can buy loose and local you’ll be saving air miles and packaging as well as supporting local businesses. Not only will your local butcher and market traders love the business but it keeps the supply chain to minimum.

6. Eat your scraps

Herb stalks make a great pesto for a Boxing Day pasta to feed a crowd. Potato peelings and cauliflower leaves lightly oiled, salted, and roasted are a delicious snack. Broccoli stalks are just as tasty as the florets and personally, I don’t even peel the carrots!

7. Get composting

Is 2021 the year to start thinking about your food waste? Think food waste collections, garden composting or an indoor wormery to avoid food waste ending up in landfill. Wine corks, kitchen paper, eggs shells and coffee granules can all be added to the compost list.

8. Mince pie ice cream

Get on it! Served with a slice of warm Christmas pud strudel (which, of course, you have made by layering filo, butter and left-over Christmas pudding) will make you feel like a zero-waste hero!

9. Give it away

I am often heard saying; please bring back the Tupperware! Send guests home with excess food and get gifting the rest. You will be very on trend making kimchi and pickles as this food trend is set to continue into 2021. Hooray!

10. Recycle, recycle, recycle

From mince pie tins to bottles, get organised and get all the family involved. Fact alert: just 12 mince pie tins can power your TV for the whole of Love Actually. Feeling cosy?!

Alex Head is the founder and chef of Social Pantry. Find out more below.