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TurkeyThanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means gathering with friends and family for copious amounts of delicious food! But sometimes we get so caught up in celebrating what we’re thankful for that we buy and cook more food than we end up using. And that’s a waste of the food we love.

What’s the big deal about food going in the garbage?

Because food rotting in the landfill creates methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to heating up our planet.

So how can you plan tasty Thanksgiving and other feasts with zero waste in mind?

It can’t be that hard; restaurants do it all the time, don’t they?

It turns out the three tricks of the trade are planning, planning and more planning.

Step one:

Plan your Thanksgiving dinner menu in detail so that you buy only the food you know you are going to use. This step can significantly reduce the amount of food that ends up in your garbage, which for a typical Metro Vancouver household is about a third of the food purchased.

Step two:

Plan your portions. If you’re feeding eight people, don’t cook for 12. Sure, leftovers are great – but let’s be honest, your taste buds crave variety.  Why else would all those delicious leftovers turn to science experiments at the back of your fridge?

Step three:

Use as much of the leftovers – from both cooking and the meal itself – in subsequent meals.  Google “cooking with leftovers” for recipe ideas.  If you’re cooking a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, freeze leftover turkey for later use, or make turkey soup.

What else can you do to reduce your food waste?

There are some food scraps that most of us don’t eat, like melon rinds. The single best action you can take is to compost fruit and vegetable scraps in a backyard composter.  For backyard composting information and how-to videos, visit compost.northshorerecycling.ca.

For 10 easy tips on how to reduce your food waste go to reduce.northshorerecycling.ca. Your actions will help our region reach its goal to divert 70 per cent of our waste from our landfill by 2015.



How do I Compost?

North Shore Recycling Program Compost BinVisit our Composting 101 Section to discover the secrets to a successful compost bin.