Holiday Meals Made "GREEN"

When it comes to the holidays, our meals are a really big deal, and it's the only time when we allow ourselves to indulge a little more than we would at any other time of year. Unfortunately, this often leaves a huge amount of waste, and the food we eat is less than ideal for the environment. Here are a few tips on making your Christmas dinner more eco friendly.
Buy Organic
Whenever you can, buy organic, because the chances are that the bird you get from the supermarket will have been raised in intensive factory farms that are not only bad for the animals, but also bad for the environment. These animals may be full of unnatural hormones, and fed food that was grown using harmful chemicals.
Instead, opt for an organic turkey this year. This may be a more expensive option, but it’ll be far healthier for you and for our planet. If you want to save money then buy directly from a local farmer (buying local also has its other benefits as you’ll see below). And remember – the drinks you serve can be organic too!
Buy Local and Seasonal Produce
Buying local is a great way to support your local area. You’ll be keeping money in the hands of small time farmers, instead of the major corporations, and you’ll help to boost jobs where you live. Buying local means that you won’t be buying food that’s been all over the world to reach your table. Out of season vegetables often have to be flown in from countries with a different climate, which does nothing to help your carbon footprint. Seasonal and local really are the way to go.
There are a few other ways to save energy on your green Christmas dinner. Although you’ll likely be cooking a lot of the ingredients for the main meal, if you’ll be snacking beforehand, or serving starters, choosing food that doesn’t need cooking will save energy and time.
When you are cooking your food, try to open the oven as little as possible, use lids on saucepans to enable you to turn the heat down, and then leave the oven door open once cooking is finished to let the heat warm up the home.
Go Vegetarian!
Although this tip isn’t for everyone, the absolute biggest thing you can do to help protect the environment this Christmas is to go vegetarian. One pound of meat takes far more energy and resources to produce than a pound of vegetables. There are now a huge number of delicious choices for vegetarian Christmas meals. If you can’t go the whole way, perhaps start by replacing a key ingredient with a vegetarian alternative and see how you like it.
Christmas Dinner Leftovers
It goes without saying that you should do your best to make the most of the leftovers after Christmas. Soups, stews and pies are all fantastic ways to use up leftover meat. And, if you’ve got too much to use, cook meals you can freeze or give leftovers to some of your Christmas guests.
My favorite for Christmas is to forgo lunch and dinner and do a huge breakfast! I can do Crock-Pot French Toast, Quiche (which you can make ahead and freeze!), and homemade 'canned biscuit doughnuts'. Then we do snacks for the rest of the day- though the kids don't really notice since they're playing with all their toys.
The main idea here is just to reduce the amount of waste you use, and try not to make a bigger dent on the earth than we already do every day.
Good Luck, and have fun!
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