Having the privilege of living in an inclusive city such as Dubai means that we get to experience holidays and festivals from diverse cultures and religions. With the Winter festivities fast approaching, we are trying to raise as much awareness around the ever-pressing issue of waste. The statistics on global food waste are shocking, one third of all food produced around the world goes to waste, the annual value of food wasted globally is one trillion US dollars, 25% of the world’s fresh water supply goes on food that is never eaten and one quarter of the food that is wasted could feed all of the one billion hungry people in the world.
Half of all food waste in most developed countries is domestic. It just takes a few moments to digest those vast figures to then realize what a huge issue food waste and waste in general is. Every human on the planet can do their part no matter how big or small, any positive contribution to reducing your waste is a step in the right direction.
So because the Festive season is about gatherings, eating, drinking and exchanging gifts and with these traditions comes an increase in waste, here’s a list of a few things to keep in mind when trying to reduce your waste:
- Be prepared and write a meal plan for the week, only buy the items required for that weeks’ worth of meals or for that specific party. Cater to the right number of people.
- Try not to be fooled by large multi-pack offers, especially on food items with short shelf lives. If you’re not certain you’re going to use it don’t buy it.
- Invest in some reusable food wraps, you can even find festive ones.
- Keep party food covered throughout the event so that leftovers can be re-used or frozen.
- Don’t load up your plate with more food than you can eat, be conscious about portion sizes.
- Don’t use disposable plates, napkins and cups at parties, if you’re worried about breakages, use bamboo items which are lightweight but reusable.
- Use reusable straws in your party cocktails.
- Save that turkey carcass and use it to make a broth along with all of the skins and buts from the veggies that you would generally throw out.
- When it comes to gift wrap, use recycled wrap or even use newspaper and magazines especially for small children’s presents. Save used gift wrap and gift bags to re-use next year, it’s not being cheap, it’s being conscious.
- Get some rechargeable batteries for your children’s new toys.
- Buy locally as much as possible that includes gifts, go to your local artisan markets such as Ripe, Arte, Origins and all of the amazing Christmas markets taking place during the month of December.