By Adrianna Bradley
The holiday season is upon us and many of us are spending time with friends and family at holiday parties enjoying tasty dishes that we only indulge in once a year.
It’s all too easy to waste food around this time of year when our eating routines are all over the place. This year, we challenge you not to toss your holiday leftovers!
Cut down on food waste
Food waste is the No. 1 item thrown away by Americans, accounting for 21.6 percent of the nation’s waste in 2014, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). South Carolina produced over 600, 000 tons of food waste in fiscal year (FY) 2016 (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016).
This holiday we encourage you to join the fight to cut down on food waste in our state. Send your guests home with leftovers in a reusable container. This not only helps clean out your fridge but it also keeps you from being stuck with a fridge full of leftovers that could go bad before you can eat it all. But make sure that your guest does not waste their leftovers too! It’s also helpful to allow self-serving so each person fixes the right amount of food they can consume without throwing it out.
If you’ve tired yourself out from creating new recipes with your leftovers, try feeding people instead of our landfills. In case you didn’t know, one in eight Americans struggle with hunger — including nearly 800,000 South Carolinians — according to Feeding America. Food donation is a great way to provide surplus food to those who need it while recycling your leftovers. Besides, isn’t this time of year also the season for giving?
Give composting a try
If you cannot donate or reuse your leftover, try composting it. Sending food waste to a composting facility or composting at home can improve soil health and structure, increase water retention, support native plants and reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides.
As you can see, there are several options to avoid sending things to our state’s landfills. It’s important that we Don’t Waste Food SC.