How can we limit waste at Christmas?

Christmas is a time of conviviality, which many enjoy sharing with family or friends. But its authenticity is sometimes lost in an avalanche of shopping, overconsumption and waste. As prices continue to rise this year, specialists are giving their advice to the BBC to enjoy the festivities. All the while wasting and using less.

As every year, some face the dilemma of knowing what to give to this famous person from their more or less distant entourage who always gives them a gift on Christmas Day. But buying to buy is obviously not the plan to spend to waste less. According to economics expert Martin Lewis: “Every year there is an ever-growing list of family, friends and teachers that we feel compelled to shop for. It is important to agree upstream to agree together on the real utility of these gifts. Mike Berners-Lee, professor and carbon footprint expert, agrees and even advises setting an amount limit or having a secret Santa if you’re feeling financial pressure.

Another solution to avoid wasting or using unnecessarily: Recycle or recycle gift wrap. When the holidays are over, a mountain of paper usually enters the living room and then ends up in the bin. But did you know that some of this packaging can be recycled? To ensure this, the article recommends “fold test”: if the paper holds its shape after being crumpled, it can be reused.

On the other hand, it is preferable not to use glitter gift packaging, which is generally not recyclable. The same applies to tinsel and Christmas balls: whether they are glass or plastic, they cannot be sorted. The most ecological and economical thing is therefore to take good care of them in order to reuse them year after year.

No more food waste

When it’s time for the last course of the Christmas feast, everyone is reluctant to come. Stomachs are full and cannot take another bite. Force yourself to eat or waste? That is the question.

For Helen Bird, a member of the charity Wrap, a third option is obvious: “You can store the food until midnight after the use-by date. Otherwise, the freezer is your friend, whether it’s before or after the big day.”

Every year in France, almost 10 million tons of edible food is thrown away. Most of this waste comes from homes, not supermarkets and restaurants. To keep that number from rising, and at best to bring it down, Bird suggests sticking to a shopping list. She strongly recommends only buying the exact amount of products. If your estimates were wrong and there are leftovers, make sure they are eaten or distribute them to your guests.

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