Save Those Leftovers!

What happens to all of those Thanksgiving leftovers? If Canadian trends hold true, approximately 40 percent goes to waste.

There is nothing I love more than a big meal with family, and so I always look forward to Thanksgiving.

There is always a spread of delicious food: squash, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and for those that eat it, turkey! There is always more food than anyone can eat; always sore stomachs and lethargic movement afterwards.

All of this overindulgence begs the question: What gets done with all those leftovers? In general, approximately 40% of all food that is bought in Canada goes to waste! This doesn’t have to be the case. There are many ways to avoid wasting food:

  • Compost your organic materials: Many cities and towns have programs in place such as Toronto’s Green Bin Organics Program, or you can have your own home composting.
  • Purchase less: Instead of purchasing in bulk or overestimating how much everyone will eat, purchase only what you think you will need (I often purchase for one less person).
  • Create a menu for the week: Create a shopping list of ingredients to avoid purchasing too much perishable food that might go to waste.
  • Use your leftovers, or take them home from a restaurant.

If you search the internet, you can find a lot of sites that give you suggestions for how to use your leftovers. Be creative and try new flavours! Here are some ideas for how to creatively use your Thanksgiving leftovers:

Thanksgiving is not the only time of year that people have leftovers, and holidays should not be the only times during the year that you aim to waste less food. We should always remember to use all the food we purchase, and to avoid over-purchasing to begin with. It may be better to go to the grocery store more often than to purchase too much perishable food that could go to waste. Freezing food is also a great way to keep food fresh longer!

How do you keep your leftovers from becoming boring?

Lauren Wingham-Smith is a Municipal Peer Review Team Project Assistant with Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited, acting on behalf of the Municipality of Port Hope. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering, specializing in Materials Science and Engineering with a minor in Economics. This multidisciplinary background allows Lauren to view both the environmental and human effects of engineering projects. She is also passionate about green innovation and design.


About Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited

Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited (HSAL) is a multidisciplinary strategic planning and public affairs consultancy, focused on environmental and land use planning, stakeholder relations (including communications, facilitation, public consultation and engagement), socio-economic impact assessment, communications, engineering and related services. We have the expertise to predict and decipher technical and public policy issues, and significant experience mitigating them, building consensus and attaining even the most complex approvals. For more information, visit
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2 Responses to Save Those Leftovers!

  1. Hi,
    I liked this article and share the same views in this regard however it is not just about thanksgiving leftovers. The global food waste figures have spiraled more than one could ever imagine. There should be some common program in order to tackle the wastes made by restaurants across the globe. A food distribution module should also be looked into which will prevent people from eating contaminated food out of trash cans.

  2. Pingback: Communicating Solutions: Part One | Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited

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