Blessing People and Planet.

# 1 Cut the Waste {Food}

We have established in the previous blog that the celebration of Christmas places a huge environmental burden on the planet. Much of this burden is due to the waste of everything which at this time of year increases by 30%. So we are now looking at principles and actions which can lighten this burden and bless both the people and the planet.

I will start with the obvious which is the waste of food. Australia is a blessed country, we have an abundance of food, a wide variety of fresh produce and apparently, according to we are wealthy enough to consign to landfill nearly 5 million tonnes of food which we count as rubbish as we celebrate Christmas. And all this waste goes on while we have way too many folks who are homeless and many others who live on the poverty line and could only dream of consuming some of the food which is so blithely sent to land fill. If this does not make you feel extremely uneasy; all I can say, is it should because it makes me hopping mad.

Think about your Christmas Food Waste:

When we throw away food, we are throwing away much, much more than the food we put in the bin. We throw away, and count as of no value, the time and energy spent to produce that food, the labour of the farmers and of the pickers and packers, the cost of seed, fuel and irrigated water, the cost of machinery and plant to process the food, the cost of packaging, the kilometers of fuel costs to transport the food from farm, to market, to factory, to shop shelves, the expended energy and the wages of everyone along the way. So as you can see it is quite a big deal, and a situation which is totally unsustainable.

The solution to food wastage at Christmas is to plan, plan, plan. Plan a menu, plan how many people are to be catered for and decide how much food is a serving size, plan a shopping list, plan a to do list, plan how you will keep hot food hot and cold food cold to avoid food being spoiled, have a plan for how left overs can be repurposed into new meals. Now execute the plans.

Christmas dinner: celebration or warzone? | Christmas | The Guardian
Christmas Dinner: Image Guardian

Look for items at a special price, buy what you need; there is no prize for having too much of everything, using a little bit of it and throwing the rest out. On this point, toddlers do not eat huge amounts of food. I have seen the plates of small children piled with enough food to overfeed an adult, the food is picked at and then promptly thrown in the bin. When we do this we are effectively teaching children that wasting food is both a common and acceptable practice.

There is no doubt that some special food is a large part of the Christmas celebration, but truly you do not need enough food to feed everyone for a month. Actually, sadly, I think the shops will be open again on Boxing Day if you do run out of anything.

This Christmas, challenge yourself, see how much you can reduce food wastage. Obviously there will be some, compost or worm farm as much as possible, but make a deliberate effort to cut back and cut down; the planet and your bank balance will thank you.

Cutting Down On Christmas Waste - 41NBC News | WMGT-DT
Cutting down on Christmas Waste. Image: 4I NBC News.

Next blog we will continue to look at the waste of wrappings, decorations and disposables. Do we really need to use that 150,00 kms of wrapping paper?

Till then, Christmas Blessings.

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