How to Reduce Food Waste this Christmas


When we think of Christmas, many things come to mind: happiness, togetherness, Santa, toys, and excessive amounts of food.

Christmas is an easy time for us to get carried away, buy too much food, and end up wasting more than we should. According to the Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA), we generate 20% more household waste during the Christmas season, and food waste is one of the major contributors.

The good news is that you can take a few simple steps to manage your food during the festive season that will save you money and reduce your carbon footprint.

So here are our top tips to reduce your food waste at Christmas, without taking away from the fun of festivities.

  1. Plan the menu
    Our top tip is to plan your Christmas menu before doing the food shop. Think back to last year and try to identify the food items that you had too much of. Did you buy too big a turkey, did you stock up on everything ‘just in case’, or were there certain food items that were not crowd-pleasers – that Christmas pudding perhaps? Whether you are having a small or larger gathering this Christmas, plan how much food you’ll need for the number of people joining you. Remember the shops are only closed for 2 days.
  2. Stick to the Christmas shopping list
    Once you have planned out what food you need, make a list, and stick to it. Check the fridge, freezer, and cupboards to make sure you’re not buying something you already have.
  3. Don’t PLAN to have leftovers
    If you have a tendency to over cater, resist the urge to make extra to have as leftovers. Trust that there will naturally be leftovers.
  4. Delicious leftovers – can save you time and money
    Without planning to have leftovers, you will most likely still have some. Christmas dinner leftovers are delicious ingredients and can be used for your Stephen’s Day dinner. If you have loads of leftover turkey, ham, or desserts pack up a little gift bundle for your guests to take home. Then you are not left with masses of leftovers that you’ll never be able to get through and your guests go home happy.
  5. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers ASAP
    Once you’ve cooked all this amazing food, you want to make sure it is going to last long enough for you to eat to eliminate any possible food waste. The sooner you refrigerate or freeze your leftovers, the sooner bacteria growth will be slowed and the longer your leftovers will last.

Why not try these easy tips this Christmas to help reduce your food waste! It is also the perfect opportunity to make a New Year’s resolution to continue planning your meals and portions, only buying food you need and storing it properly, reusing leftovers, and freezing food for another time.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, from all at The City Bin Co. 😊

6 Ways to Reduce your Waste this Christmas

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It’s no secret that Christmas time can be the most excessive time of the year for most of us.

Figures from Repak show that in Ireland, our packaging waste increases by 25% over the Christmas period. We get through 6 million rolls of wrapping paper, 50 million bottles of beer, 51 million beer cans, 3 million spirit bottles, 23 million wine bottles and 20 million soft drink cans. This results in 74,000 tonnes of used glass, paper and cardboard being produced – that’s about 44 kilos of waste per household!

So, how can you easily reduce the waste you and your family produce this Christmas? Here are our 6 top tips for reducing Christmas waste:

  1. Personalise gifts by making the wrapping yourself, using cloth materials, newspaper magazine and any other suitable materials you have at home! If you receive gifts wrapped with plastic-based wrapping paper or heavily sellotaped wrapping, remember they’re not suitable for recycling.
  2. Make your own Christmas crackers from toilet or kitchen rolls or your own decorations using old jars, bottles, fabric, and newspaper. This is also a great fun family craft activity!
  3. Instead of buying new Christmas décor, check out what the charity shops have to offer or upcycle your old Christmas decorations to make funky new additions to your festive home.
  4. Natural decorations can look just as good as shop-bought ones. See what you have in your garden already, using things like fresh holly, pinecones and mistletoe are a great way to bring festive cheer into your home! The bonus is, when you are done with them, they can go back into the garden and be composted.
  5. If you have a real Christmas tree, make sure you recycle it at a designated recycling centre or even better if you live in Galway, book our City Junk service to come and take away your tree – hassle-free!
  6. Christmas cards – if you are sending Christmas cards avoid buying shop-bought ones, if you must, ensure they are recyclable. Create your own festive designs using any Christmas cards you kept from last year. If you have not saved any – keep this in mind for next year, and you’ll be extra organised for next Christmas and save a few pennies!

Although it is inevitable that you’ll have some amount of excess waste at Christmas time, if we all try to make more sustainable choice, together we’ll make an impact. We encourage people to take the time to find out what is recyclable, as we can all play a part in ensuring that waste items are disposed of correctly.

What’s your name?


Names can be tough to remember! Especially when you hear so many new names every day.

Chester Santos ‘The International Man of Memory’, famously said, ‘When you can remember somebody’s name, it shows them that they are important to you’. When James Kent and I walked into the bar of the Sheraton Hotel at the Mall of Emirates in Dubai in October 2016 we were both impressed with the hotel host. He was an Egyptian gentleman by the name of Abdou Hassan Gharby. As we entered the bar, Abdou shook our hands and made good eye contact. With a warm smile, he said ‘Hello Mr. James and Mr. Oisín, Welcome back. It’s so nice to see you again’. We were both amazed because we were only ever there once before and that was the previous June when we stayed at the hotel for a few nights on a work assignment. Abdou makes it his business to know everybody’s name and to welcome them.

The power of learning, knowing and addressing your clients by name in business has many positive outcomes, such as repeat business, familiarity, good rapport and respect. The customer sees the business representative is attentive and listening, creating confidence between both parties. It becomes easier to address shortcomings and sing praises. This is equally essential for colleagues as it is for staff. This is how you create culture. This is a good place to begin. There is the old saying in the world of commerce: ‘It’s not personal, it’s business’. For me, this is not true. All good business is personal and that a personal touch starts and finishes with a name. Your client will either know your name or you will know their name. Firstly, it’s up to you to start. Introduce yourself to your customers by means of nametags, verbally introduce yourself and in turn, ask the client their name. Write it down if you have to.

TBMGTAS CultureClub When I was in Doha City Centre shopping mall in Qatar, in March 2017, I went to the cinema to see Kong: Skull Island. I arrived early so I decided to grab a quick coffee in Caribou Coffee. I noticed that all of the staff wore hand-written badges that stated their name and which coffee they loved: ‘I’m Alex and I love Americano’. A name provides familiarity and friendliness. Two weeks later, I found myself in Times Square Shopping Centre in Dubai and I recognised the same branded coffee house. Because of my positive experience in Doha, I was drawn to get a take away there and, of course, noticed that all the friendly staff had their nametag and favourite coffee badge. When you learn somebody’s name and a little something about them you build trust. This trust is the base of any relationship, business or otherwise.

Starbucks is famous for asking the customers their name and writing it on the coffee cups. Each and every time I’m in my local Starbucks in Eyre Square Shopping Centre back in Galway, Ireland I’m always struck by how the staff ask for my name when taking my order and call me by name when my order is ready. No surprise that some of the staff remember my name and order when I go there.

If you are in an office and communicating by phone always introduce yourself by name first and then the company. ‘Good morning, my name is Joe and I’m ringing you from The Print Company’. You are at an advantage in the office as you can write the name down. If you are not in an office you can carry a notebook or record it on your phone. If you don’t know how to spell a name, just ask them. ‘Let me write that down. Can you give me the correct spelling of your name?’

Depending on how busy you are, you might think it’s not easy to remember so many names. Some simple techniques to help you remember is to say the client’s name back to them a few times within the conversation. Here are a few hacks for remembering people’s names:

Commit to remembering names
• Write down their name(s)
• Repeat the name in the conversation
• For complex names ask the person to spell their name
• Associate the name with a visual
• Focus on the person in front of you
• Be 100% in the conversation
• At the end of your day go back over all the people you met

Mr Abdou from the Sheraton Hotel made it his business to remember the names of James Kent and I. He created a bond resulting in repeat business. What the staff in Caribou Coffee, Starbucks and the Sheridan Hotel have in common is people that nurture great culture.

Culture is an established ingredient in customer service. And, for good reason.

Taken from The ‘Binman’s Guide to Amazing Customer Service’ by Oisin Browne, which can be ordered on Amazon Kindle today. It is stocked in Charlie Byrne’s in Galway, Hana’s Bookshop in Dublin, and O’Mahony’s bookshop in Limerick.