Americans make three times more food waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than at other times of the year. Tons and tons of food go to waste simply because people don’t know what to do with it. This Thanksgiving, you can reduce your food waste with these simple suggestions.
1. Plan how much food is needed for each guest
Don’t prepare an unrealistic amount of food. If you make twice as much food as your guests are going to eat, you’ve created food waste and wasted all the effort you spent cooking. Decide how much food each person will eat, and make a reasonable amount of food.
2. Choose smarter serving sizes
Serving guests smaller portions this Thanksgiving will cut back on the amount of food left on people’s plates. They can always get seconds (or thirds, or fourths) later. Even better, have guests serve themselves buffet-style so each of your guests can eat whatever they like without wasting foods they don’t want.
3. Give your guests food to take home
When the Thanksgiving feast is over and your guests are going home, encourage them to take some leftovers with them. Not much can go to waste if everyone takes some of the leftovers.
4. Use your leftovers
Plan what you’re going to use leftovers for before Thanksgiving arrives. There are plenty of tasty recipes available online, from the obvious sandwiches to soup, burritos, stir-fries and much, much more. Planning ahead will get you excited to use your Thanksgiving leftovers, so they don’t go to waste. You can use vegetables and the turkey carcass to make tasty stock and broth. Take any leftovers you don’t plan on using right away and put them in the freezer so they don’t spoil before you want to eat them.
5. Make compost from scraps
If you have a garden, you can compost extra food scraps to create great fertilizer. Your plants will be thankful for the nutrients.
Last but not least, donate any non-perishable food you have left over to a food pantry, disaster relief organization, or church near you. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, and there’s no better way to give thanks than to help those who don’t have everything you are thankful for.
Do you have any other tips on how to reduce food waste this Thanksgiving? Share them please!