In the lead up to Christmas Australians will waste hundreds of millions of dollars on food that we buy but don’t eat. A leading environmentalist today advised Australians to save money and the environment by reducing food waste over the festive period.
IBISWorld research says Australians will spend $7,972 million in December on food. Approaching Christmas, food accounts for 40% of the money we spend in shops. But we waste up to 20% of the food we buy and when food is wasted, it rots in landfill and creates a greenhouse gas called methane.
“What many Australians don’t realise is that methane from Christmas food waste is 20 times more potent a greenhouse gas than the carbon pollution coming out of your car exhaust,” says Jon Dee, the Founder and Chairman of ‘Do Something!’
Research shows that Australians waste more than 3 million tonnes of food every year. In the process we spend at least $5 billion on food that we buy but don’t eat.
Jon Dee says there are four simple ways to reduce our Christmas food waste:
1. When it comes to food over Christmas and the New Year, buy only what you need – draw up a shopping list and stick to it.
2. Try not to cook more than you need.
3. If you have leftovers, put them in Tupperware and freeze them.
4. Re-use your turkey, ham, chicken or vegetables in other dishes. There are recipes for Christmas leftovers at SaveFoodStopWaste.com
“Leftover turkey, ham and chicken can be used in sandwiches, but also in a whole range of dishes,” said Jon Dee. “Leftover vegetables can also be used in things like soup that can be frozen for another day.”
“We can still have a wonderful time and have plenty to eat, but being a bit more careful with our food can really save our wallets and the environment at the same time.”