A Zero Waste Christmas

In this time of year that tends to be high consumption, how can you cut back on your environmental impact? Fortunately, you needn’t deprive yourself of the joys of generosity. With a little bit of creativity, here’s how you can have a no or low-waste Christmas!

low waste christmas

Ho ho ho, it’s Christmas season….time for family, festivities and, if we’re not careful, lots of waste. Follow these tips to make your holiday season joyful and sustainable. 

Gift buying

  1. Wrap your gifts in newspaper, old magazines or buy a recycled wrapping paper like rewrapped UK.
  2. Give second-hand presents (branded, of course, as retro or collectables). London is filled with incredible charity shops. Not only will your previously enjoyed gift be sustainable, but the money you spend can be helping a great cause!
  3.  Faced with giving a gift to someone who has everything they need? Signing up to becoming a regular donor on their behalf, or buying a Christmas lunch for one of the Refettorio’s guests will be an act of generosity you know will be truly appreciated. Find out how to donate here.
  4. Left with a beautiful turkey carcass at the end of the meal? Don’t forget to make turkey stock! Frozen in small quantities this keep your soups, risottos, and braises flavourful all winter long. Any leftover turkey meat can be shredded into salads or used for turkey sandwiches and pies.
  5. Give your family and friends experiences. Take someone special out to eat, or give the gift of a cooking course. They’ll remember those days far longer than they will a new white sweater, and you can’t spill red wine on a memory!
  6. Don’t forget to turn off those Christmas lights when you’re out or go to bed! Sure, everyone loves to return to a home with a lit tree, but the magic of turning the tree back on each day is just as fun!

Recipe for Turkey Carcass

Turkey carcass

1 Onion, diced

1 celery bunch, chopped,

2 carrots, chopped

Herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary)

2 Bay leaves
Any leftover root vegetables

Salt and black pepper


Throw the carcass, broken up, in a large stockpot.

Add with a chopped onion, some celery, a couple carrots, and some black pepper.
If you fancy, add in some parsley, parsnip or a bay leaf, or whatever root vegetables or aromatics you have lying around.

Fill the pot with water until it covers the contents, and set over a high heat.

Bring the water almost to a boil, skim the surface of the water, and then let it simmer as long as you can.
Freeze any leftover stock for use in soups or casseroles.