Fine food makes a great holiday gathering, but those big family feasts can consume a lot of our natural resources, as well as a lot of the cook's energy! Plan to make holiday entertaining easier on both you and the environment.
- Check the cupboards, then make a complete list of the ingredients you'll need to buy for baking and meals, so just one shopping trip will do.
- Take cloth shopping bags to the grocery store or reuse plastic ones.
- Buy baking ingredients and snack foods in bulk, and nonperishables in large economy sizes to cut costs and minimize packaging.
- Consider a baking cooperative 'party' with friends and neighbours. Each brings the ingredients for a favourite holiday recipe and takes home a sample of all the different treats baked that day. Getting together in one kitchen makes efficient use of the oven heat, and it's more fun than cooking alone.
- Use cloth napkins rather than paper. If this isn’t possible, choose napkins made of recycled paper.
- We normally use non-disposable tableware when feeding the family or entertaining a small group at home. For larger get-togethers, do the same: rent reusable glasses, utensils and dinnerware instead of buying expensive plastic, styrofoam and paper products to throw away after just one meal.
- On the round of holiday parties, share a taxi with friends, use public transit where available, or form a car pool and take turns as the designated (non-drinking) driver. Besides making good safety sense, this also saves energy.
- Through the holidays, be sure to collect your empty beverage containers to take to a redemption centre. Many families donate their refund proceeds to a local charity, encouraging the children to join in deciding where the money should go. For a list of redemption centres near you or for more information on the Beverage Container Program, call (506) 453-3700.