As we become increasingly aware of our impact on the environment, we seek more ways to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. We already embrace eco-friendly practices in our daily life; from the abundant use of the reusable carrier bags to the plastic straw ban, it all starts with building greener habits. When it comes to creating an eco-friendly home, one of the best places to start is the kitchen.
The concept of Reuse - Reduce - Recycle is your best guide to sustainable choices. The 3Rs are a welcome reminder to reduce waste, reuse items where possible, and finally recycle any materials that cannot be repurposed. Fortunately, making the right choices is good for your pocket as well as the planet.
We’ve come up with a list of top tips for creating an eco-friendly kitchen so you can do your part for the environment!
Swap disposables for reusables
The most obvious choice is to start replacing everyday plastic items with more durable materials that you can use repeatedly. You are already on the right path when you carry a reusable shopping bag with you.
In the kitchen, many everyday use items are made of disposable materials. It’s easy to replace these for reusables by choosing an alternative made of glass or ceramics. These two materials are equally convenient as you can freeze and use them in the microwave.
On the plus side, glass and ceramics look way more stylish around your kitchen than any plastic container ever would.
Choose sustainable materials
Buy items that are widely recycled and easily decomposed. Opt for cotton, paper, glass, or wood and ditch the plastics. Many biodegradable options are already a popular replacement for plastics.
You can apply this to any item you use in the kitchen, from food containers to cookware and cleaning items. There is a wide choice of natural fiber sponges and scourers for washing up, and some great reusable cloths that instantly make paper kitchen towels obsolete.
Purchase and Cook in Bulk
A little preparation goes a long way. It’s no secret that planning your meals will help you save both time and money. Purchasing in bulk is the obvious saver; choosing minimal packaging will significantly reduce unnecessary plastics. Most grocery stores offer a bulk section for fresh fruit and veg, and as more zero waste options are readily available, you can use your reusable cotton bag for cereals and grains that you can store in jars later.
Dedicate some time to cook your favourite meals in large batches. Remember when you came back from work shuttered and couldn’t face standing on top of the stove? Pulling out of the freezer a scrumptious meal that you can reheat in under 5 minutes is exactly the time when you will thank yourself for planning your meals. You will also avoid wasting fresh produce that often goes limp in the fridge as busy schedules don’t always allow for daily cooking.
Invest in Long-Lasting Cookware
When it comes to cooking, each one of us has our very own favourite cooking techniques and recipes. No matter what you love cooking, buying long-lasting cookware is a choice you will not regret, as high-quality pots and pans can last you a lifetime.
Similarly, opting for good quality wooden or stainless steel utensils will make these items go a long way which means you won’t think of replacing them for a good few years.
Practice Eco-Friendly Cleaning
Most of us don’t think twice before getting out the bleach and giving the kitchen a good going over, but in reality, many of the cleaning products we use can be harmful to us.
A huge range of green household cleaning products is made with eco-friendly, natural, organic, and plastic free ingredients and materials. If you wish to go natural, you can look in your store cupboards as chances are you already stock a few: baking soda and vinegar can be combined to make a great all-purpose, non-toxic cleaner.
Reusable kitchen cloths instead of kitchen towels and natural fiber sponges that are biodegradable are also a quick and easy swap.
Recycle and Compost
An essential part of waste management that you should implement in your kitchen is recycling and composting. The plastic and glass waste generated in the kitchen can easily be recycled if repurposing is not possible.
Meal planning should save you the major headache of food waste. If, however, you wish to repurpose your food scraps, composting is the way to go. Instead of throwing it away, check with your council for composting services, or if you have green fingers, keep a composter at the back garden and use it for growing some of your own food.
The tips listed above allow you to set up the foundation of having a sustainable kitchen. Couple that with other zero-waste practices, and you are sure to enjoy a sumptuous meal with your family while doing your part in saving the planet.
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