The holidays will probably look different for many of us this year. You may not be able to have as many friends and family over to celebrate your holiday with you this year due to COVID-19, and some of the celebrations may take place over Zoom instead. But that’s all the more reason to have a big meal to enjoy the company of the family you have around you. And to do that, you want to make sure that you’re being responsible with your food waste and otherwise. Here are a few tips to reduce holiday feast waste this year.

Plan Your Meal Beforehand

Plan for exactly what you need before you get started. For instance, what size turkey do you need? A good rule of thumb is one pound per person at the table. You might have a favorite casserole dish that you’ve been dying to try, but is your family likely to try much of it? You won’t be able to send leftovers home with as many people this year, so you also have to take into account the size of your refrigerator and the likelihood of those leftovers being eaten.

Save Food Scraps

It can be hard to find the exact amounts that you need when you’re shopping for ingredients, so you’ll likely be left with food scraps. You have a few options here. You might save those food scraps to reuse them in future recipes. You can find recipes online that will help spark some inspiration for use of those food scraps. You also might be able to compost those food scraps, whether for your own uses or through a composting service in your city. We’ve written blogs in the past about composting.

Donate Leftovers

Don’t think your family is likely to finish all the leftovers from this year? Consider making someone else’s holiday season by donating your leftovers. Donate unused cans and ingredients to food banks so that they can serve up a holiday meal for those in need. You can check out Brazos Valley Food Bank to see what they’re accepting this year. You may also find organizations accepting donations of Thanksgiving leftovers, such as homeless shelters or restaurants that offer their excess food at the end of the night and might allow you to add yours to the mix.

Use Reusable Cooking and Baking Dishes

In most holiday seasons, it can be tempting to use one-use tin-foil baking trays and paper plates. However, your holiday meals will probably be less widespread than usual this year, which is all the more reason to use dishes that can be washed and reused. If you want to lighten your dish load, consider using compostable paper plates.

Brazos Valley Trash Valet & Recycling has you covered when it comes to all of your trash and recycling needs this holiday season. We offer weekly trash pick-up with a complimentary recycling bin and a single-stream recycling service, accepting more materials than ever. Contact us today for more information or to sign up for yourself.