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Friday, December 7, 2012

Five Ways to Reduce Holiday Food Waste

By Melissa Hincha-Ownby

            

The average American throws away nearly 20 pounds of unused food per month, equating to nearly $2,275 a year for the average family. Reducing food waste can help you save money and also help the environment. The holiday season, when so much excess is created, is the perfect time to focus on reducing food waste. Below are five tips to get you started!

1.    Create a meal plan: Preparation is key to reducing holiday food waste. Plan ahead by creating an accurate meal plan. Know how many people will be eating and realistically, how much food you will need to feed your guests. This one single step can make the biggest impact on reducing your holiday food waste.

holiday snacks2.    Donate: Find a local shelter or soup kitchen that will accept leftover canned goods or other unopened items. Be sure to call ahead to arrange a time to drop off the items.

3.    Deliver food to those in need: If you know of a family in your neighborhood that is struggling to make ends meet, deliver a holiday meal packed up in reusable Ziploc® Brand Containers with the Smart Snap® Seal. This will put a smile on their faces, warm food in their bellies and will leave you with a great feeling.

4.    Host the neighborhood kids: If you have more sweet treats leftover from your holiday party than you know what to do with, host a treat-filled play date for the kids in your neighborhood. It’s a fun way to celebrate for a few extra days!

5.    Compost: If you still have leftovers after you tried my first four tips, be sure to compost your leftovers! To learn more about composting, check out this great post from fellow SC Johnson Blogger Panel Member, Diane on “Do It Yourself for a Smaller Carbon Footprint.”

What is your favorite way to reduce holiday food waste?

Photo courtesy of Melissa Hincha-Ownby.

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