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Reducing Food Waste During the Holidays

November 22, 2017 9:00 AM
by Andrew Basmajian

Reducing Food Waste During the Holidays

The holidays are approaching, and with them comes all the food individuals prepare to celebrate these special occasions. Large meals around the holiday season are common, and literally tons of food waste is created as these meals are being prepared or when thrown away afterward. For Thanksgiving alone, individuals are expected to throw away approximately 200 million pounds of turkey.

In order to decrease the food that ends up in landfills, consider the following tips when planning your holiday meals:

  1. Take a look in the fridge first: Avoid buying too much food while shopping for meals by checking what food items are already at home. Create a list of food items you do not have at home, so that you purchase only what is necessary. Not only does this reduce the possibility of throwing out food, but also saves money on groceries.
  2. Smaller plates and utensils: Using smaller plates will encourage guests to get seconds or thirds instead of piling food on larger plates. Larger plates encourage food waste because guests do not always finish the food they place on their plates, and leftovers from the plates are usually thrown away rather than saved.
  3. Donate food: Have some non-perishables left over? Donate food to the Westside Food Bank. To find more information on food donations visit westsidefoodbankca. org or call 310.828.6016.
  4. Save leftovers: Leftovers can be stored for after the holidays. Store leftovers in small, individual containers to make grabbing a quick meal more convenient. Also, leftovers can be made into new meals after the holidays.
  5. Compost food items: Food scraps created when cooking the meals can be composted rather than thrown out. If you would like to compost at home, compost bins can be purchased from Resource Recovery and Recycling. If you want to easily compost food scraps, put scraps from the meals in a green organics cart to keep the food from reaching a landfill.

Taking these tips into consideration when planning for holiday meals can reduce the amount of food waste produced in Santa Monica. This, in turn, not only moves Santa Monica one step closer to Zero Waste but also and keeps more money in your pockets this holiday season!

For more information on green organics carts or purchasing compost bins, call Resource Recovery & Recycling at 310.458.2223 or visit online at

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