24 ways to have a sustainable christmas

Allow me to climb upon my favourite soapbox once again. Food waste. It’s a terrible thing.

Image via Better Homes and Gardens
Image via Better Homes and Gardens

Let me bullet it out…

* Food wastage is the biggest environmental issue facing the planet today.

* We consumers are responsible for 50 per cent of all food wastage.

* The average Australian tosses out 20 per cent of their weekly shop, and Australians waste $8 billion worth of food annually… from households alone.

* The waste kills me. The claim that many of us can’t afford good food also kills me when the painfully obvious thing to do is to cut costs by cutting waste. See my simple drift? You can catch up here.

This Christmas I’m on a sustainability mission, so I’ve put together A Little Listicle to hopefully help us all minimise waste and eat more sustainably. Here you go my friends:

1. Use leftover pumpkin or sweet potato from your roast to sweeten sauces, soups and casseroles. Puree your leftover pumpkin or sweet potato and add it to red sauces (chilli dishes and curries) and “yellow” cheesy dishes.

2. Make smoothie green ice cubes. Puree leftover green veggies – from salads or sides – and freeze in ice-cube trays. Pop a few in your morning smoothie.

3. Use leftover wine to make homemade vinegar. This is a clever tip from Jamie Oliver. He suggests decanting your wine dregs into a bottle (1/2 full) and then wrapping it in cling wrap and a tea towel. Leave it in your car boot (yes) for a month and you’re left with lovely acidic vinegar you can use for dressings and sauces.

4. Freeze your leftover egg whites. Perhaps you use a few yolks in your nog…freeze the whites in an ice cube tray. Then transfer to a freezer container to store. (Make sure you thaw them completely before using – they’ll beat better at room temperature.)

 5. Use your chicken or turkey carcass to make up a stock. There’s also a recipe here for my mum’s chicken soup!

6. Got leftover cauliflower? Here’s some of my favourite cauliflower recipes to try.

7. Invite your neighbours for a post Chrissy bubble and squeak – celebrate twice! Valentina from New Romantic says: You can also whip up a turkey stir fry or roast vegetable salad. If you have made a roast beef, dry it out and make some jerky.

8. Got leftover lemons and limes? Juice and freeze in ice-cube trays ready to add to smoothies.

9. Freeze things in a thin layer in zip-lock bags, so you can “snap off” what you need as you go…

10. Dice and freeze leftover onions, celery, capsicum and tomato ready for soups and casseroles.

11. Turn your sliced ham leftovers into Ham Croquettes. Tim Elwin from Urban Food Market recommends this for your leftover

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