How to Create a Sustainable Kitchen
Today, many of us are becoming more aware of the importance of our impact on the environment and how it is affecting our health. This article will break down simple ways to have a more sustainable kitchen so you can improve your health and the planet! Also check out my article on the zero waste efforts in Raglan, New Zealand here.
Sustainable Kitchen Containers
Use reusable aluminum or glass containers for packing a lunch or as to-go boxes. Aluminum containers are light weight and durable making them ideal for packed lunches. Look for ones with a good seal so they don’t leak in your bag!
Another great way to improve your sustainability is to reuse jars and containers you’ve cleaned out. Oftentimes these containers are durable and have good seals making them ideal for on-the-go snacks and meals. For nuts on the go, try a used mint tin as they are typically just the right portion size!
Reducing Single Use Waste
It is 100% possible to use no paper or plastic napkins, towels, or dish wear in your kitchen. Use cloth napkins and dish towels and enjoy your more sustainable kitchen. Have old rags or t-shirts that are dedicated to cleaning a yucky mess (wash or toss after as necessary). These practices add minimal laundry to your routine and keeps excess trash to a minimum.
Reduce plastic waste by knowing where to shop! This article outlines the best and worst grocers that create plastic waste. Regardless, use your best judgement. Opt for your local farmer’s market where typically the don’t wrap their produce up in plastic unless they are selling baked goods.
If you do pick up a plastic bag by accident – reuse it! Reuse a cleaned produce or product bags for storing snacks or sandwiches. Then, turn them into pet waste bags before ditching them. Go compostable with your disposal trash and pet waste bags. Just upgrading your doggie bags to compostable ones 2x day, you will reduce your waste by 730 plastic bags every year!
Reducing Food Waste
Research suggests that half of the food the US produces goes to waste. This is mainly due to “imperfect” food getting ditched in the selection process. Let that sink in… What would you do if your produce bill was sliced in half???
I know we’re all busy. Regardless, there are several ways reduce your food waste with ease that fits your schedule and budget. Here’s how:
- Order an “ugly” produce or farm box delivery service. Start at first by under ordering so your food doesn’t go bad by accident if you have too many deliveries. It may take a few weeks of trial and error to understand how much you need.
- Plan to shop twice a week. Do the majority of your shopping one day (weekend) and then pick up additional fresh items you need later in the week. This will help to reduce food going bad in your fridge.
- Shop at farmer’s markets. Your food will be fresher and last longer.
- Grow your own herbs and produce. Enjoy a window herb garden or grow one outside. I do this in my van which is a testimony that you really can grow anywhere!
- Use food scraps effectively
- Make pesto out of carrot tops or extra herbs (freeze for later if you need).
- Create vegetable broths with raw produce scarps.
- Enjoy the fibrous stems of broccoli and cauliflower by ricing them, dipping into hummus, and adding to stir-fries!
- Start composting. Collect your food scraps and having a designated spot in your yard to dispose of them. Donate them to your local garden for them to use.
You've Got This!
If you have gotten this far, you are already invested in making the world a better place around you! Thank you so much for being your badass self and doing so. While we all may not be perfect in our efforts, it is the intention to try and be better about it that really counts in the long run. So give your self a pat on the back every time you do your part and strive to live a little greener.
For more great nutrition, green living, and badassing information, subscribe to our newsletter or follow @elevated.nutrition on social media!