During the festive season, our plates overflow with joyous meals, but sadly, some of this bounty ends up in the bin. Recently, Go Romania’s ESC volunteer Sandy ventured into Craiova’s heart to understand how much food goes to waste during Christmas and new year and what we do with these leftovers. The findings shed light on our habits and opportunities for change.

The Scale of Waste
When asked about the quantity of food thrown away during Christmas, the responses varied. A notable portion (37.5%) admitted to tossing a moderate amount (rated as ‘2’), while a similar percentage (31.3%) mentioned throwing away a little less (rated as ‘1’). Fortunately, a small percentage (6.3%) reported higher waste (rated as ‘5’).

Commonly Wasted Foods
Vegetables and side dishes stood out as the most commonly discarded items, accounting for nearly two-thirds of responses. Meat followed closely, while desserts and alcoholic beverages surprisingly held a minimal share in the waste.

Reasons Behind Waste
The reasons behind this waste varied but mostly revolved around preparing too much food or overbuying. However, the most significant reason cited was not having enough time to consume the leftovers (43.8%).

Handling Leftovers
Interestingly, many individuals have methods to deal with leftovers. Most prefer to consume them within a few days (43.8%) or freeze them for future use (31.3%). Regrettably, a small percentage still opts to throw them away or give them to animals if still consumable.

Tackling Food Waste
When asked about ways to curb waste, several solutions emerged. Planning meals carefully (37.5%) and making smaller portions (25%) were popular choices. Properly storing food and donating to others also surfaced as impactful strategies.

Importance of Reducing Waste
Understanding the importance of reducing food waste during Christmas varied among respondents. While a substantial portion (31.3%) highly valued this cause, others rated it lower on their priority list.

What Can We Do?
This survey emphasizes the need for more awareness and actionable steps to reduce food waste during Christmas. Simple changes in meal planning, portion sizes, and conscious consumption can make a tangible difference.

Solutions Beyond the Survey:
Building upon the survey results, several additional strategies can effectively minimize food waste during holidays. Encouraging the use of leftover ingredients in creative recipes, raising awareness through educational campaigns, collaborating with local food banks, and fostering a culture of responsible consumption are promising avenues.


Craiova’s survey on food waste during Christmas and holidays unveils both the challenges and opportunities in our quest to minimize waste. It’s clear that while many understand the issue’s significance, there’s still work to be done in translating this awareness into concrete actions.

This holiday season, let’s remember that every plate of food matters, and every effort to reduce waste contributes to a better tomorrow for our community and our planet.

Note: The statistics presented are based on the responses obtained from a sample group within Craiova and may not represent the entire population’s perspectives.

An article by Sandy Abouelkhir

Sean Aranda
Food recovered by food waste critic Rob Greenfield in Madison, Wisconsin, from two days of recovery from dumpsters

For more information on data research on food waste and food waste greenhouse effect gasses visit:



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