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Weekly Tips | November 25, 2013

Gobble, Gobble?

Get a leg up on the turkey this year, and sustain yourselves AND the environment by planning ahead! Whether you're gobbling up a meal with family and friends or giving thanks on the downlow, the odds are good that there will be leftovers. Spare the waste (and possibly your waist!) by making the most out of Thursday's meal. Read on for tips on what to do with gratitude's post-tryptophan bounty!

Dealing with Leftovers

As the November festivities come to an end, where does all the uneaten food go? If you choose to save leftovers to continue eating after the holiday, make sure to use reusable containers to save those leftovers. If your smorgasbord maxes out your container stash, there are many other options around the house you can use. Give empty yogurt or dairy tubs, deli containers or any empty jar a second life to store leftovers. 

Another alternative is to treat your guests to thanksgiving goodie bags and distribute the remaining leftovers as they leave. Encourage your guests to bring their own reusable containers to carry out the goodies. This options allows everyone to enjoy some leftovers, while helping with the clean up and food storage at the end of the night. 

Making just the right amount of food is the most efficient way to avoid waste. Want to see if you can cook a leftover-free meal? Check out these leftover-free meal tips

Don’t Toss Your Leftovers

Make a realistic assessment of which leftover foods you will eat in the next couple of days. Refrigerate these items, and put others that will not be eaten within a couple of days into the freezer. To avoid freezer burn, use smaller containers with individual portions. For more tips on how to keep your leftovers out of the trash check out this informative article

Creative Recipes for Leftovers

For those seeking to find innovative recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers, consider some of these easy and creative ways to spice up traditional holiday food. Also consider recipes to make unique meals from leftover cranberry sauce. Want to enjoy some desert with leftovers? Check out these holiday cookie recipes made out of holiday leftovers. 

Sources: St. Vincent De Paul | Rainier Valley Food Bank | Washington Food Banks | Earth 911: "How to Cook a Leftover-Free Holiday Meal", "6 Tips to Make Your Holiday Leftovers Last Longer", and "5 Holiday Cookie Recipes Using Leftover Produce"| MNN: "Easy Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers" and "6 Ideas for Leftover Cranberry Sauce"

The Big Picture

According to the EPA, the amount of garbage between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can increase by 25% in households. That’s about 4 million to 5 million tons. In fact, it was estimated that in 2012 about 230 million pounds of Thanksgiving turkey leftovers put in the garbage. 

Sources: US EPA | Earth 911


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