How to cut your Christmas food waste


Tips and Tricks


Tuesday, December 11, 2018 10:00 PM

Woman setting Christmas table


Do you want to have yourself a Christmas that's full of good food but without the waste?

Food waste peaks in many households over the holiday period, meaning tonnes of once-prized festive food ending up in landfill instead of stomachs. 

Excessive food waste is often the result of over-purchasing, over-catering and throwing out leftovers. Not only is wasting food like throwing money in the bin, it also wastes all the resources like water and energy that went into growing, harvesting and transporting that food to your table. 

The great news is there are some simple steps you can take to make Christmas easier and friendlier on the environment and your wallet!


Top tips to have yourself a food waste-free Christmas

1. Know what you need to buy.

Take 15 minutes in the days leading up to Christmas to plan your meals over the holiday period. Then write a shopping list so you don't over-purchase. 

2. Make some space.

Use up what's in your fridge and freezer in the days before Christmas so you'll have plenty of storage space without overcrowding your fridge. Fridges work best when there is space for cool air to circulate.

3. Employ some food-saving tips.

Squeeze some lemon juice over your fruit salad to keep it fresh for longer, store berries and cherries in the fridge in their original packaging and only wash them when you’re ready to serve them to stop mould growth.

4. Avoid the 'temperature danger zone'.

Between 5 and 60 degrees Celsius is the ‘temperature danger zone’ where bacteria can reproduce quickly, shortening the shelf life of your leftovers. Get all leftover food straight in the fridge, ideally in shallow containers to help it cool faster. 

5. Look after your ham.

Store your Christmas ham in a calico ham bag soaked in vinegar to prevent it drying out – change it every 2-3 days and it will keep for over a week.

6. Get creative with your leftovers. 

If you groan at the sight of eating the same thing again, try turning leftovers into something different. Meats can be used up in lots of different meals, like this lamb and orange salad or lamb souvlaki, ham and vegie tortilla, Vietnamese chicken noodle salad or hoisin pork pancakes

7. Save your summer fruits. 

Make cool treats for summer days by freezing leftover fruits and yoghurt into fruit icy poles. Or chop fruit and freeze flat on a tray before transferring to a container to use in smoothies.

8. Turn food waste into compost.

There are composting options for big and small households. Check out if there's composting system for you at Sustainability Victoria and make it your summer holiday project.

Have a great food-saving tip? Tell us on the Facebook page: 

Love your food

Each year Victorian households throw out 31,500 tonnes of fresh vegetables.