8 Tips For Going Green In The Kitchen

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8 Tips For Going Green In The Kitchen

Have you considered how your home impacts the environment?  Practising sustainable habits isn’t just good for the environment but also good for your wallet. Save money and create less waste with these 8 tips for going green in the kitchen.

1. Don’t get rid of leftovers

Be careful about what you’re throwing away. According to a nutritionist, Lisa Renn, there is a lot of value in foods that you might throw away such as stale bread, excess milk etc. For example, you can cut the bread into cubes and freeze them in order to make croutons. You can even crush them so that they become breadcrumbs that you can add to your pasta or pies. If there is excess porridge, this can be used in bread dough to make delicious oat bread. 

2. Use reusable cutlery

Plastic cutlery can be found just about everywhere and these types of cutlery are single use. As a result of this, there are billions of plastic spoons, forks, knives etc that are thrown away. However, these plastic items, in the same fashion as other plastic products, also take many hundreds of years to break down. This has a very negative impact on the environment. Eco-friendly ecommerce business owner, Jayesh Dayal recommends carrying reusable cutlery on a daily basis to avoid being a contributor to landfills. His reusable straws can even be utilised at your local cafe with your favourite smoothie or milkshake.

3. Reduce shopping amounts

There is quite a bit of waste that happens when groceries and stores have bargains where they advertise two for one deal. This encourages people to simply take up these bargains and continue buying repetitively as opposed to actively planning their meals. Additionally, it is also useful to figure out what type of cook you want to be. Once you figure this out, you can then shop accordingly. If you prefer to figure out what to cook in the evening on a daily basis, then doing weekly shopping isn’t a good idea. It is better to shop and buy food in small amounts as this also helps to reduce wastage. 

4. Purchase 50% of your food locally

When you make the food chain shorter, this helps to reduce wastage before the food even reaches your home. Hunter greatly supports buying half of your food locally or at least within a 30-mile radius of your home. Keep in mind that the nutrition in your vegetables and fruits are quite short lived, so the distance that they travel is important. Paul Jennings, Katoomba resident and business owner says, “there’s just so many local farmers around, going to large grocers just doesn’t have the same fresh taste!”

5. Change flours

It isn’t advisable to keep growing the same type of crops in the same region on a year to year basis without replacing the nutrients in the soil. One way to help is to use different flour. For example, you can rotate growing rye and clover with spelt and wheat. This will help ensure that nitrogen is replaced. Spelt and emmer flour are great to use as opposed to only using wheat flour all the time since they make great alternatives.

6. Get familiar with a butcher

In order to consume meat sustainably, a bit more effort is required according to the chef, Fergus Henderson. One of his rules is to hug your local butcher and be sure to be supportive and ask lots of questions. They will help you to get into a good supply chain. Additionally, they will help you to gain more access to different organs and parts such as glands, kidneys, feet etc. In most cases, these parts have a lot more flavour than the meat. When you consume the entire animal, this doesn’t mean you eat the guts and blood. However, it does mean that you completely respect the animal and you try your best to consume as much of the animal as you can. 

7. Plan for the future

When there are seasonal gluts in the market, make sure that you fully make use of it by preserving vegetables. This includes making different marinades, chutneys, vinegar, preserving in oil, freezing etc. You can easily blend and freeze tomatoes so you can have them available throughout the year when you want to make pasta. You can even add beetroot to your oils, jams etc so you can add to different meals year round.

8. Reduce packaging

Keep an eye out for loose vegetables and fruit when you’re at the market and have your own containers ready to store them. Downsizing specialist, Melissa Freasier comments, “often my clients have mountains of plastic bags that just have to be thrown away”. Find a more permanent way to carry home groceries to avoid having to purchase plastic bags. If you choose to purchase any packaged food, carefully look at where they are from and consciously choose to buy from more local regions. For example, if you want to buy oat milk, then buying oat milk that is made in NSW, rather than Tasmania, due to a lower carbon footprint. If you do need to buy food in containers or bottles, look for ones made with recyclable plastics. The label should show PET or HDPE which means you can use these containers multiple times.

Sarah Miller

Sarah writes about her personal journey, learning, life optimisation and her passions. For more thoughts and ideas, you can connect with Sarah on Twitter

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