It’s not surprising that Christmas tends to be a time of overindulgence, and with that sadly comes quite a lot of food waste (supposedly there’s only so many turkey sandwiches you can eat). Instead of throwing unwanted scraps away, why not try composting with food waste over Christmas instead to cut down on the amount of food thrown away? Did you know that over 4 million Christmas dinners are thrown away each year? That’s an obscene amount of waste, so let’s do something about it.
What makes a good compost heap?
The best compost heap has a good mix of nitrogen and carbon, which you will get by combining different materials in your compost pile. You should start your compost heap with a few layers of sticks and twigs, to allow some air to circulate and help with drainage, then start to layer your compost materials, in alternative wet and dry layers. Adding manure is a key source of nitrogen, and this speeds the process along. You should also mix it every couple of weeks to keep air in it and help the materials break down.
What Christmas food waste can you compost?
You can add fruit and vegetable scraps, potato peelings, tea bags, coffee grounds, eggshells and flowers to your compost heap this Christmas. Many of these things would otherwise just be thrown away so at least this way they can be repurposed to help your garden grow in the spring. A handy tip is to keep a plastic box under the sink or beside the bin that you can add this kind of waste to throughout the day, and then you can mix it into your compost heap in one go, so that you’re not running outside all the time.
What should you not compost?
You can’t throw everything into your compost heap – leftover ham and turkey should never be thrown out, as these attract pests and larger animals. You should also never throw meat bones, fish or dairy onto your compost heap, and stay clear of leftover pasta rice and breads too – although, you could tear the bread up and leave it to the birds.
What can you do with your leftovers instead to cut down on food waste?
So you can’t compost leftover turkey – what else can you do with it instead? Before Christmas you should be trying to defrost and use up the food in your freezer to make room for leftovers, as you can freeze a lot of uneaten cooked Christmas food to use again over the coming months. Check out this handy guide to using leftovers and preserving food items to get longer from them.