We’ve told you our top tips on how to have a sustainable Christmas on the lead up to the big day already - see the full blog here, now we want to give you some festive inspiration on how to make the most of leftovers when the 25th finally arrives!
Get Creative in the Kitchen
Ever had that thought that your takeaway tastes better the next day? Food is a highlight of the festive season, yet 4.2 million plates of dinner will be thrown away this season in the UK. That’s including 11.3 million potatoes, 7.1million pigs in blankets, 740K Christmas puds, 263K turkey’s and enough gravy to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool!
We hate to waste anything, especially delicious food that has had a lot of work put into growing and creating it (those poor carrots). Here’s some cracking tips straight from the Beauty Kitchen Team on how we spice up our leftovers:
- Brussel Sprouts - not the most popular of vegetables, but these bad boys are packed full of essential vitamins. Try chopping up your boiled sprouts and frying up with pieces of bacon, pancetta or your leftover pigs in blankets, and onion for an incredible side dish. If your feeling wild, crack over an egg for a seasonal omelette.
- Scrap veggies - pile up your cooked veg onto one tray, top with cranberry sauce and left-over brie (or whatever festive cheese you have to hand), and roast until the cheese has melted for the ultimate Christmas tray bake!
- Turkey – so many options here! Our favourite ways to use up turkey is by either making a crunchy toastie (also a great way to use up your spare stuffing or cranberry sauce and cheese) or popping in a warming curry.
- Nuts and dry fruit - a nice addition to your morning breakfast when topping your yoghurt or used up when baking your next cakes. We love this Fruit & Nut Cake recipe.
- Roast Potatoes – just like double fried chips, double roasted potatoes are incredible. Add some onions, a pinch of thyme and some olive oil and crisp up in the oven.
- Christmas Pudding - in the very unlikely event that you have left over cake, the good news is Christmas pud is great for freezing. Try crumbling it up into some fresh custard, ready to be frozen into ice cream!
There’s bound to be some waste of course, whether it’s the stem of your brussel sprouts or the tips of your carrots. We recommend throwing these in your food bin, or better yet creating your own compost to use in the garden.
What to do with Wrapping
We’re repeating ourselves here a bit as we mentioned the ‘Scrunch Test’ in our last blog, but we thought it was too important not to mention again, especially as we will use around 108 million rolls of wrapping after this year in the UK.
Anything with paper in the title must be recyclable surely? Well, a lot of wrapping paper is covered in a plastic film, so some waste centres won’t accept this. The Scrunch Test will give you a hint to whether your wrapping paper can go in your recycling bin. If you scrunch the paper into a ball and it stays, odds are it can be recycled as long as the plastic tape is removed, whereas if it springs back then it can't be.
Here’s some inventive ideas to make the most of your leftover wrapping paper, and a chance to keep the kids busy over the holidays! You could create some bunting or streamers to decorate windows, turn it into origami, wrap notebook in it, shred it into confetti… there’s so many ideas.
Wine, beer, gin, soda…all the festive tipples! We bet you’ll have a few empty glass bottles lying around after the Christmas parties, but instead of recycling them, why not give them a second lease of life. Remove the labels and use them as some rustic looking vases or place a tall candle in the top for a vintage looking candlestick. Gin bottles can be so pretty, and our favourite way to reuse them is to pop some fairy lights in and use all year round; or simply use the bottles to store fresh water in the fridge.
Trees for Life
There’s a hot debate around whether a real or fake tree is the best option, but there are pros and cons to both. If you have made the decision to go ahead with a fake tree, just make sure you get the most out of it by using it again and again, year after year – same with your beautiful decorations. We’re all about REUSE here at Beauty Kitchen! Real trees however can be recycled. Local waste centres often arrange drop-off points for your trees, minus the decorations of course, where they will simply shred them and make use of them as wood chippings in parks for example.
We’re noticing that a lot more places like Zero Waste stores (such as Locavore) actually offer a rental service for your Christmas tree. As most of these trees are grown in the pots, they never have to be cut or discarded…they are a tree for life! The best thing is that they are much cheaper than buying a single use tree too.
To Re-Gift or Not to Re-Gift?
That is the awkward question to answer! Let’s face it, we’ve all been there where we’ve received a gift that is perhaps not quite suited to you. In our opinion, re-gifting is the perfect choice for this tricky occasion. You can pass on your gift to someone who will enjoy it more than you, and in turn does not create waste with something that will get flung to the back of your cupboards. Gifting to charity is also a lovely option to consider to.
Beauty Kitchen Empties
If you’re lucky enough to have received some of our sustainable products for Christmas, then keep an eye out for the RETURN • REFILL • REPEAT logo on the packaging. This means that you can send back your empty products to us via free post or at your nearest Holland & Barrett store in return for rewards. We will then wash the packaging ready for reusing in the next batch. With 95% of beauty packaging being thrown out, we wanted to do something about this with our RETURN • REFILL • REPEAT program. Sustainability is for life, not just for Christmas!
If you ever unsure of which products are included in the program, just send them to us anyway and we will handle the recycling or reuse of the packaging for you.