Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching and that means a generous helping of leftovers to carry us into the following week. 40% of food in our country gets wasted but by incorporating a few new habits and paying close attention to planning and prep, you can significantly reduce that number and get back to enjoying the big day. While eating turkey sandwiches may get tiring, here are a few ways you can reduce food waste from such a feasting holiday.
First off, don’t throw away your scraps. It may seem like second nature to do so but you can get so many uses out of those leftover pieces. Peelings and trimmings are great as stock but can also be frozen for months to enjoy at a later date. If you have peelings left from potatoes, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper and then bake them at 375 for 15-20 minutes. You should have crisp chips to nibble on for a snack!
You’ve already cooked everything at your Thanksgiving feast so you can freeze leftovers for later use. Those veggies and meat can be tossed into a container or freezer bag with stock and frozen. At a later time, even months after, you can cook the concoction with some spices and cheese or croutons on top for a fast meal. You are much more likely to eat the leftovers later on and save yourself some money, time and from wasting good food.
Even if everything is ready to be tossed, resist the urge to put it in your trash can. Instead, compost it. If you don’t have a compost pile or are not eager to start one, ask a neighbor, farm or special facility if they would take your Thanksgiving leftovers. Most eco-conscious folks will gladly toss your debris onto their pile. You can even search on findacomposter.com or call your town hall and inquire about programs to do so. If you fry your turkey, that cooking oil can be recycled as well. Again, inquire with your town hall or do a search online for places that collect cooking oil. That oil can be reused or even implemented in applications such as biodiesel.
There are so many things we can do with leftover Thanksgiving grub that doesn’t involve a trash container. By utilizing one or two simple game-changers, you can alter your habits and incorporate a more responsible way of living. It’s worth a try – what have you got to lose?
Our Dumpster Tip of the Week is Courtesy of the Elk Grove Village Dumpster Rental Service! Thanks, Gang!