Jolly Festive Ways To Reduce Food Waste

Do you consider food waste when doing your Christmas shop?

If so, it seems you’re not alone.

With food waste responsible for 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and UK homes producing seven million tonnes of it on average each year, more and more people are keen to act.

New research from environmental charity Hubbub found that over a third of us (38%) are planning, for the first time, to buy only food we need this Christmas.

Some 31% of us are intending to use up, for the first time, all our festive leftovers.

The research shows that David Attenborough’s “Blue Planet” TV series, unseasonal weather and the declaration of a Climate Emergency have influenced our Christmas shopping habits this year.

“It is hugely encouraging to see how Christmas food shopping habits are changing this year,” Tessa Tricks, Head of Food at Hubbub, said.

“Christmas needn’t be any less fun when we cut down on our festive waste.

“Food waste, particularly at Christmas time, is a massive contributor to climate change, and yet with a few simple steps we can dramatically reduce how much we throw away.”

Ten tips to cut your food waste this Christmas:

  1. Plan ahead. Only buy enough food for the meals you’ll be cooking and the guests who will be there. Check expiry dates when you’re shopping.
  2. Avoid panic buying ahead of the bank holidays. The shops are only closed for a short amount of time.
  3. If you’re having turkey, choose the size carefully. How big was last year’s? And how much did you throw away?
  4. Make room in your freezer in the run up to Christmas so you have plenty of storage space. Also, check out Hubbub’s helpful guide to what food you can freeze. It’s more than you think! Find the guide at
  5. If you’re short of fridge space at this time of year, take advantage of the cold weather and consider keeping fruit, veg and drinks fresh in a cool box outside, or even in your car boot.
  6. Don’t overdo how much food you put out at one time if you’re entertaining buffet-style, and put leftovers away in the fridge rather than leave them out overnight and ending up binning them.
  7. Check your fridge before travelling away from home and freeze or pass on any food that will be out of date by the time you get back.
  8. Try out apps, such as OLIO, to share food with those nearby, as well as family and friends.
  9. Use up excess vegetables to make a home-made soup. Perfect for getting you back on track after the festive feasting!
  10. Before you reach that point where you can’t take any more leftover turkey, cook up a batch of stew or curry and freeze it for January.

For health advice from the “Friend”, click here.

For festive food inspiration, take a look at our Cookery pages here.

Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.