Thanksgiving into Pressure
Author: Adelia Favret
Holiday season is upon us! Thanksgiving is a time to not only give thanks (duh) but usually to consume copious amounts of food with family and friends, which can often lead to copious amounts of waste. Bare Market blogger Adelia has some tips on how to be mindful about your consumption when tucking into the holiday feast.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it’s easy to get overwhelmed as we prepare for a day of feasting and festivities. There can be pressure to host gatherings with family and friends, cook a big meal and go all out. We’ve all been to Thanksgiving parties where the turkey was way too big, the mash never got finished and there were one too many pies on the dessert table.
It’s estimated that food waste in Canada has gotten so bad that we might as well be tossing a quarter of our groceries in the trash. Food waste is a huge environmental and social issue, not just in terms of water and energy used in production, but also considering that many people don’t have access to food in the first place.
It’s totally possible to use the spirit of the season to be grateful for all that we have, while throwing a more sustainable dinner party and avoiding food waste.
Estimate how much food you really need
This step is the most crucial to avoiding food waste. If you are planning on hosting a party for the holidays, try to estimate how much food you will need to prepare.
There’s that saying, ‘it’s better to buy too much than not enough’, but that is anathema to a low-waste dinner party! Take a few moments to consider how many people will be attending and calculate the amount of ingredients you’ll need to purchase to avoid a mountain of leftovers hanging out in the fridge.
Choose foods to be leftover
Speaking of leftovers, it happens. Sometimes we purchase too much, sometimes not everything gets eaten (I’m looking at you green bean casserole). Taking this into consideration ahead of time is a good way to ensure that guests can bring home any extras.
One great way to ensure leftovers get eaten is by choosing foods that keep better (e.g. kale over lettuce). It’s also a great way to encourage friends and family to take tomorrow’s lunch to-go.
As always, go reusable
When considering ways to reduce your waste and make more sustainable lifestyle choices, reusable items are key. Encourage guests to bring their own containers to take leftovers home or let them borrow some of yours.
Choose reusable cutlery and plates for your dinner party to avoid single-use paper and plastic. For drinks, choose canned and glass containers over plastic as these can be recycled vs. downcycled.
Image by: Alfred Schrock
Lastly, practice gratitude and give back
Thanksgiving is the main time of year that we count our blessings and are verbally thankful for what we have (even though we could do that every day!).
Use this season as a time to offer support to others where possible. Consider donating to your local food bank, inviting a newcomer family or elderly neighbour to thanksgiving dinner, giving the gift of life by donating blood, volunteering with your favourite charity, or anonymously taking care of a strangers bill (no matter how small) to pay it forward. This weekend is a great reminder to enjoy time with our loved ones, practice self care, and be grateful for all that we have while making mindful choices.
About the Author: Adelia is a fourth year student at Ryerson University in Toronto with a passion for the environment, music and travel. She’s very excited to be collaborating with Bare Market; as the first of its kind in Toronto (a package-free one-stop shop), she feels that Bare Market is building community and bringing folks across the city together. You can follow Adelia’s adventures at electriclia.co, or on instagram @adeliafavret.