We love the festive season for friends, family and food. It really is the best time of the year. But it is also one of the most wasteful times of year with excessive packaging, massive amounts of food waste and generally some unwanted gifts. At Cornersmith we try to make thoughtful choices when planning our celebrations. So this month we have gathered our best tips for cutting down and being mindful of our over-consumption! We hope they help!
There is a lot to be proud of when you celebrate the season sustainably and it is surprisingly easy to reduce your festive footprint. Here are a few tips to get you thinking about buying and using less:
We have made our in-store trees in the past from large fallen branches that we have decorated with dried chillies and oranges. We had fun making them, we think they look excellent and when they are done cheering our shops they will go back to the park. Have a go at making a tree from branches or found objects. If you really want a live tree, consider natives such as She Oak or Wollemi Pine, which are great in pots and can be used for years to come.
Alternatively, a friend of ours used Christmas every year as to buy a new edible tree that post-christmas, will be moved to the backyard or stay in a pot. Things that work well for this are bay trees, curry leafs, dwarf citrus, olive trees and so much more! Just remember to keep outdoors to get some sunshine and you can move back inside at night for festive cheer.
Every year we throw away enough wrapping to go around the equator nine times! And most of the wrapping paper available is non-recyclable. This year, try to find recyclable or eco-friendly wrapping paper, use up old newspapers, or consider waste-free wrapping options, such as reusable cloths!
The supermarket aisles at this time of year can be jam-packed with imported and often preservative-laden foods. In the mad rush to set a bountiful table, it can be temptingand convenientto buy whatever looks festive. Just keep in mind that most of us over-cater at Christmas and the food waste can be colossal come Boxing Day. In an effort to significantly reduce our overall food waste, we make sure we are extra mindful when planning our menus.
Remember to keep fruit and vegetable choices seasonal and Australian. If you are serving meat and seafood do a little research and choose ethically and sustainably. Here are some good resources: Feather & Bone and the Sustainable Seafood Guide. Also try to make, instead of buy – you will never buy a fruit mince pie as delicious as the one you make! And if you start your preserving now, you can have pickled cherries, mustard fruits and relishes ready for the table. Our cookbook Salads and Pickles is full of great summer preserving recipes.
We think good food is a great gift; it is always appreciated and never gets dumped at the charity store a few months later. Make a batch of pickles, kimchi, or cordial and give them to your loved ones. They will have a lot more meaning than another scented candle!
If you’re out of time for making gifts this year, then don’t forget to shop small! Get out of the big department stores and head to your local shops to help the small businesses in your neighbourhood. When you buy items made on a small scale, chances are you are supporting fair wages and low-impact production.
You can check out Cornersmith’s Christmas hampers here. Made in Marrickville, from Australian produce, with minimal packaging and maximum deliciousness! Or if you want to inspire the cook in your life, give them a voucher for a Cornersmith workshop.
From the Cornersmith team, we hope everyone enjoys time with their favourite people, good food and lots of end of year cheer!