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Minimal waste blog: Cook a minimal waste meal with friends

By Lara Valles and Elana Pakka

We hope you all have been enjoying the minimal waste challenges and blogs so far. This week's we are reducing collaboratively. Share these ideas, inspire and connect friends.  

In the past, have you may have been someone who loves to invite your friends over and order takeout. Have you ever stopped to look at the amount of garbage that comes with it? Or maybe you are a minimal waste savvy food orderer and want to teach your friends how to do the same. No matter which camp you fall under, we hope you join u ms in cooking a socially-distant, minimal-waste meal with friends online. Not only is it fun and more sustainable, but you can also save a lot of money: It is estimated you pay 300 percent more for the same meal by eating out or ordering in than if you made it yourself. 

Imagine that you are browsing Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and you find an epic recipe. So you set up an online dinner date with your friends and let them know you're going to do things differently: minimal waste style! The first thing you're going to do is send your friends our minimal waste grocery trip article for when you all go shopping for the ingredients. Remind them to bring a reusable bag when they go to (we know they all have at least one!) and that they can use reusable produce bags for fruits and veggies. 

Do you compost at home? If you don't already, this is the perfect opportunity to start! Maybe you have an old container you can start with, or one of your friends has one they aren't using and can do a porch drop-off for you. While you're cooking, use dish rags for cleaning and wiping counters instead of paper towels to up your minimal waste game even more. 

Here are a few more minimal waste meal cooking tips for when the days of social distancing are over. If you are having people over and want to get a little something special for the occasion, consider buying yourself a cute set of cloth napkins instead of paper. It will also make the dinner table look extra snazzy instead of that single, last-minute piece of paper towel per person on the table. Make sure to ask everyone to bring a container with them so they can take leftovers home. At the end of the night, everyone will have levelled up in their cooking and minimal waste skills, while leaving with a meal that is ready for the next day. 

Do you have other tips and ideas for a minimal waste dinner party with friends? Share with us on social media with #RotaractTO and #MinimalWasteToronto or email us at for any ideas or suggestions.

Lara Valles is the community service director for the Rotaract Club of Toronto, who started her minimal waste journey a year ago. Elena is a technical product manager and Rotaractor passionate about continuously making small changes that lead to minimal waste living. 

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