How To Have A More Sustainable Christmas Dinner
bread on white ceramic plate beside sliced bread on table
Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

How To Have A More Sustainable Christmas Dinner

Jasmyne Jeffery December 18, 2022

Christmas dinner is definitely about piling your plate up with eyes bigger than your belly, yet still having room for chocolates later. But as we become increasingly more concerned about climate change, there are actually ways your meal can help. Here are some tips on how to have a more sustainable Christmas dinner so you can enjoy the day knowing you’ve done your bit for the planet.

Christmas Day is just around the corner and we’re all hurriedly finishing off buying presents and wrapping them a little too haphazardly. One thing that is on everyone’s minds is Christmas Dinner. Whether you do it before or after presents, we’re all looking forward to it.

If you want to be a little more eco-conscious with Christmas this year, then your dinner is a good place to start.

Tips On Having A More Sustainable Christmas Dinner

No one expects you to do everything, but taking any one of the following steps is a step in the right direction.

Think About Packaging

Getting your turkey or meat of choice is a fundamental part of planning your dinner. However, buying from a supermarket isn’t always the most eco-friendly choice. Instead, head to your local butcher who might not have a better cut of meat for you, but is much more likely to package the meat without plastic. Quite often, it’s in no more than a cardboard box.

It’s the same with fruit and veg. Whether you need satsumas for stocking or parsnips to roast, buying them loose considerably cuts down on packaging. Plus, you’ll often find it’s cheaper and you’re more likely to be able to get the exact amount you need rather than overbuying.

Of course, not all packaging can be avoided, but try to stick to stuff that can be recycled. And remember to bring your own bags to the shop!

Shop In Person To Have A More Sustainable Christmas Dinner

If you live locally to your supermarket then try and get there on foot as much as possible to reduce your carbon footprint. If it’s a little further, then you can always get public transport which is much better for the environment than travelling on your own.

Family Christmas meal with home cooked food being served at dining table, traditional holly with berries garnishing roasted vegetables, Christmas cracker on table with wine and candles. Courtesy of Getty

For the bigger shop, sometimes you just need your car or for it to be delivered to your house. No one is going to blame you for doing this but plan ahead so that you only need one trip/delivery instead of multiple.

If you walk down in the evenings you will probably find that not only are the shops a bit quieter, but you’ll be able to take in all the Christmas lights too!

Don’t Let Food Go To Waste

Another great tip for having a more sustainable Christmas dinner is only to purchase the amount of food you need. It’s not unusual for there to be too much food about in the festive period. However, think logically about how much people will actually be eating when buying your veg and meat.

Or, instead of throwing things away, freeze them or have them in sandwiches etc the next day! Plus, you might find there’s room to squeeze a bit more in later on in the evening. So, don’t throw anything away too early!

If you’re a little unsure about how much food you’ll need, try buying frozen or tinned so that it lasts into the new year!

Actually Cooking Christmas Dinner

On the day itself, be mindful of what you’re using to keep your food warm and well-sealed. Consider buying wax paper instead of tin foil which can be reused over and over again.

Any food that can’t be eaten like vegetable peelings or bones can be used to make a wonderful broth for Boxing Day. Plus, don’t be afraid to cook vegetables in their skins! They can be super tasty with the addition of seasoning and a little bit of honey. Delicious.

If you do find yourself with leftovers on plates, then don’t forget about the pets! Even if you don’t have one yourself, think about whether a next-door neighbour or a family member.

It’s actually quite easy to have a sustainable Christmas dinner. Just follow one of these tips an you’ll know you’ve done your bit to help this planet. Perhaps you could even keep the habit as a New Year’s resolution!

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time Entertainment and News Writer on university-themed website Freshered and HITC, and joined the company having previously worked in a freelance role. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger and graduated in 2022 with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Now, she puts her creativity to use reviewing university bars, Love Island episodes and the latest apps any 18-25-year-old is using.