By Florence-Léa Siry from Chic Frigo Sans Fric
The year is drawing to a close, but 2018 was a turning point for environmental and climate change awareness. Christmas will be here before we know it, so let’s take a moment to review our consumption habits. The end of the year is the perfect time to introduce you to zero waste consumption. Did you know that you can save significantly when you do most of your shopping at your favourite market? Here are some tips that will help you enjoy the holiday season… and ring in the New Year by becoming more eco-friendly!
1. Buy in bulk
Did you know that most gourmet snack foods are available in bulk? Whether you have a sweet tooth or a salt craving, try buying in zero waste mode. Favourite things like nuts, cheese, cold cuts and fresh cranberries can be found in bulk in your favourite markets… and you can buy the exact amount you need.
2. Bring your own containers
Have you ever noticed all the overstuffed garbage bags that pile up over the holidays? You can cut down on waste by bringing your own containers to do your holiday shopping. It’s a small gesture, but, over time, it adds up to a big impact on the planet.
3. Make your list… and check it twice
We tend to make wasteful, unnecessary purchases when we leave our shopping to the last minute. Start earlier and take the time to plan your holiday menu, then place an order at your favourite merchant. You’ll spend less time shopping and more time sharing holiday magic with friends and family!
4. Take it outside
There’s nothing like winter to extend the shelf life of food. If you don’t have enough room in the freezer for all your holidays goodies, put them in a camping cooler and let it chill outside.
5. Make a meal with leftovers
A festive feast often ends with a lot of leftovers. Instead of tossing out perfectly good food, try creating a menu that uses all those yummy leftovers. A turkey can be the gift that keeps on giving if you turn it into sandwiches, salads, stews, casseroles, sauces, pâtés… and more. And you’ll start the New Year by saving!
6. Give a goody
In my opinion, culinary gifts are the best: they’re popular treats that can be enjoyed all winter long. Now is the time to buy things you wouldn’t normally buy every day: exotic spice mixtures, artisanal jams, gourmet cheese wedges. Just ask your favourite merchant for ideas!
ZERO WASTE TIPS
7. Throw a zero waste potluck
If you’re hosting a potluck party, take the zero waste challenge and create a dish with ingredients you have on hand. You’ll save a chunk of change, use your imagination… and be the toast of your guests!
8. There’s always enough
Our garbage and food waste increases dramatically over the holidays. Has any holiday party ever run out of food? Probably not! We usually make more than we need, then toss out the rest. This year, try making smaller portions to slowly savour, rather than big bites to gobble. And if you actually do run out of goodies, it’s a good time to use all those neglected ingredients in the back of the pantry.
9. Bring containers for leftovers
Bags, jars, airtight containers and snack bags are handy for bringing leftovers home… and you can continue to feast for a few more days!
10. Quality not quantity
The merchants in your market offer high-quality foods, so focus on quality rather than quantity this Christmas. After all, it’s not just about gifts and festivities, it’s about sharing magic moments with loved ones.