Christmas can be a boom time for many businesses in the food industry. For takeaway places, street food vendors and other such establishments, there are plenty of outdoor events, fairs and late night shopping sessions to bring out the crowds, and not to mention those revellers seeking a little sustenance after the office Christmas party too! But with all this merriment and indulgence, we shouldn’t forget that we still need to keep an eye on sustainability. The environment does not give us a free pass, just because it is the most wonderful time of the year. And that is why we have created this guide for how to ensure a sustainable Christmas in the food industry.
Of course you will want to deck up your premises to make it look like a festive wonderland, but you have to think carefully about how to do it in a green manner. So many Christmas ornaments are made from plastic and a lot are fairly flimsy, meaning that there is often not much chance of them lasting to be reused another year. This adds more plastic to landfill, where it sits around stubbornly, refusing to biodegrade for centuries.
Instead, try using Christmas decorations made of wood or cotton. You can even collect leaves and holly branches to create your own natural decorations if you are feeling creative. This cuts down your plastic usage and, in the latter example, slashes your costs too!
Christmas lights are another staple of Yuletide, but they can also be a major drain on energy at this time of year. If your lights are a number of years old, they may soon be due an upgrade and by replacing them with LEDs will see you drastically reduce the amount of electricity they use. Up to 90% by some estimates, plus they last longer, so you feel the benefit in your pocket as well as in the reduction in your carbon footprint.
At the centre of your Christmas display is your Christmas tree, but can the choice of tree have a bearing on the sustainability of your business Christmas display? Well, yes it can.
If you have a real tree, you should check to see whether it was grown in this country and whether or not it is covered with fertilisers and herbicides. Many are shipped in from abroad and will often bring with them a hefty carbon footprint. Your nearest organic farm will grow their trees in your local area and won’t cover them in chemicals.
For plastic trees, there is a lot of energy that goes into producing and shipping them. If you have one that does not last very long, then the carbon footprint is potentially far greater than a real tree. They also do not biodegrade. However, a well made plastic tree that lasts for many Christmases obviously becomes more sustainable as the years go on because you are not ordering a new item each time.
It goes without saying that this may not exactly be a ‘normal’ Christmas. Although Covid-19 restrictions have been eased in all areas of the UK, infection numbers are still relatively high and some members of the public are unsure about attending public events. With that in mind, it is very difficult for the food industry to predict sales. The problem with this is that you might come away from an event you might expect to have been better attended or close at the end of the day with excess inventory.
To cut food waste and keep in with the sustainable Christmas message, you could get creative and work out your menu for the next day to incorporate the leftovers that you have. Use your specials board to showcase these concoctions and make a virtue of something that could otherwise be a problem.
Sustainable Christmas Food Packaging
A simple win for increasing your sustainable Christmas credentials is to order sustainable Christmas food packaging. From our leak-proof deli boxes made with sustainably sourced kraft board to our compostable black food boxes, we have the solution to serving your customers with their warming winter delicacies whilst also keeping an eye on your responsibilities to the planet.
If you want to find out more, contact us today and we will help you make this the most sustainable Christmas yet.