Top tips to reduce food waste during the holiday season

Learning

December 12, 2018

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Australians celebrate the summer holidays in many ways, which typically includes a lot of food, drinks and waste. Research by KitchenAid revealed that Australians dispose of about 25% of food in the bin at this time of year.

Why is food waste a problem?

Food waste costs the Australian economy an estimated $20 billion every year. Producing and distributing food also puts a strain on resources such as land, water, energy and fuel.

When sent to landfill, food waste can impact the environment through greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that 7.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent will be generated from food waste disposed over the life of its decay. Food waste can cause issues with odour, leaching, and is a potential source for disease.

There is also a social impact from wasted food fit for consumption that could be used to relieve food insecurity instead.

How is food wasted?

According to research conducted by the NSW Government, the main reasons for food waste are:

  • Too much food is prepared
  • Not planning before grocery shopping
  • Buying takeout instead preparing meals at home
  • Good food thrown away before expiry
  • Food hoarding
  • Not knowing how to use leftovers

Top tips for reducing food waste during the holidays:

  • Make or buy just enough food
  • Plan for a potluck gathering
  • Use smaller plates to encourage reasonable portions
  • Use reusable tableware or containers to store leftovers
  • When giving food as a gift, avoid perishable items

If food waste is unavoidable, save it from landfill by:

  • Getting creative with leftover recipes
  • Encouraging friends and family to take leftovers home with them
  • Creating your own compost heap for recycling food and garden waste
  • Donating excess food to charity
  • Using the organics bin if provided in your area

How can businesses deal with food waste

Cleanaway offers comprehensive food waste management solutions to businesses of all sizes. Because food waste is heavy, it weighs down the bin and increases the cost of general waste. By diverting food waste into an organics recycling service, businesses can achieve their sustainability goals while positively impacting the economic bottom line.

A waste audit can help businesses improve organic waste disposal processes, and identify opportunities for better stock management practices.

Read more about how we help businesses deliver on the triple bottom line of sustainability here.

Contact us if you’re a business owner looking to reduce food waste and maximise resource recovery.