Surrey Waste Partnership
Felicity Stanbridge
5th November 2012
Surrey's Food Waste and Home Composting Campaigns

Want to have a greener Christmas?

Whether youíre a keen gardener or just want to choose the greenest, most natural way to deal with your food and garden waste, composting is the perfect solution.

Christmas is always a busy time of year with lots going on, and plenty of food and presents. Parsnip peelings, brussel sprouts and left over satsuma peel can be used for making compost. Mix this in with used envelopes and Christmas cards to give a good balance of materials in your compost bin. However, do remember to crumple the paper up into a ball before adding to the heap and make sure itís free from glitter, plastic and other non-paper embellishments.

Out of a total 516,000 tonnes of household waste currently produced in Surrey each year, it's estimated that around a third could be composted which would save the county an estimated £11 million in green waste treatment and disposal costs each year.

If youíre wondering what to get for someone who has everything, why not buy a compost bin to place under the Christmas tree?

Get started

To find out more about how to build yourself a compost heap, or to buy a bin, starting from only £15.00 visit Surrey Waste Partnership or call 0844 571 4444. Youíll also find lots of other helpful tips and information there too.

Cut food waste and save money this Christmas

As food prices continue to rise around the world, itís a sobering thought to know that many families waste up to £50 a month throwing away uneaten food.

However we also know that cutting down on food waste can be a challenge, especially when youíre pushed for time and your kids donít always want to eat what youíve cooked for them. So to help you waste less, Love Food Surrey chef Carmela Tomkins gives us her top festive tips to help you plan the perfect waste free Christmas.

Taking just one small step to reduce food waste can have a big positive effect on the environment and save you money too. We hope our tips will inspire you to take that step.

It pays to plan
  • Control your urges to stock up and spend madly by planning for the season. Remember most shops will be open apart from the one special day.

  • Choose the food your family is most likely to eat. It is pointless offering brussel sprouts and red cabbage if it will not be eaten. It makes more sense to choose popular vegetables and cook them in a slightly different way such as pan-fried with garlic and bacon.

  • Seasonal special offers can be good value as long as you plan to use the extra food. Check if you can freeze items and make sure you have the space in your freezer before buying offers, or why not share deals with friends and family such as mince pies or sausage rolls.

Perfect portions
  • Remember portion size - if you are serving a starter, main course and dessert, portions should be smaller than your everyday one course meal.

  • Choosing what size turkey to cook can be tricky. Stick with 450g per person and you should have plenty to go round to please large appetites and leftovers for Boxing Day too.

Love your leftovers
  • If you have any leftovers from Christmas dinner, chop up roast potatoes and vegetables, chuck into a pan to fry and add some Indian spice for a tasty bubble and squeak dish.

  • Make a stock from the carcass of the cooked turkey by simmering for a few hours in water with any leftover veggies such as onions, carrots or celery. Stain and season the liquid, which you can freeze, and use to flavour soups and risottos

  • The large jars of coleslaw and chutneys may not get eaten entirely on Boxing Day but kept chilled will be great topping for†a jacket potato for another day.

Savvy storage
  • A well-stocked store cupboard can be a real life-saver over the busy festive period.†Keep a†variety of goods on the shelves and you'll always have the ingredients standing by to pull together a delicious meal for guests or to jazz up your Christmas leftovers.

Festive freezing

Make space this season. Food can be kept safely in the freezer for years at -18įC, as long as you keep it frozen the whole time. However the texture and taste may change over time, so try to eat food within three months.

Try freezing -

  • Brandy or rum butter: Although these keep perfectly well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, any further ahead than that they should be frozen in rigid containers.

  • Stuffings and sauces: All sauces (with the exception of hollandaise) can be frozen.

  • Casserole: Do you need to plan a casserole for supper on Christmas Eve when there will be precious little time for extra cooking? Cook when you have spare time and freeze until needed.

For more advice on planning your shopping, portion control, recipe ideas and more, visit Love Food Surrey.