Staying at home means spending more time in the kitchen preparing at least three meals every day. It demands acute involvement with the chores. At the same time, it introduces you to the impact of your meals on the environment. While it can be difficult for anyone to go an extra mile to protect climate and environment, you can do your tiny bit through certain food and kitchen habits, whether it concerns cooking, food storage, cleaning, or something else. If you believe in a sustainable mindset, you can follow a few things in your kitchen as a routine. So, here you go!
While it can be instinctive to rush for a sheet of paper towel to wipe out moisture or mess, you can reduce your dependence on this through other better and more sustainable alternatives, such as dish towels or sponges. You can use them to remove spills and wash and reuse them. By doing this, you already reduce your kitchen waste. You don’t need them to eliminate excess oil from fried foods. You can switch to a wire rack for this.
Parchment Paper and Aluminum Foil
Do you reuse these? If you don’t, it is another option to be less wasteful. These materials help with cleanups and safe storage of the food. You can keep them for subsequent use if they are not too dirty or torn. For example, some people wipe aluminum foil off all the grime and let their dishwasher do the job. Once clean, they fold the foil paper and keep it away for next time.
The best sinks for a kitchen remodel are those with two bowls or enough depths. These make daily cleaning and washing tasks more manageable. For example, if you like to hand wash your dishes, your double sink configuration can be quite a help. Fill soapy water on one side and clean water on the other. You will not need to run your faucet; as a consequence, there will be less wastage of water.
Full-size ovens consume high energy to heat up. That’s why moving to smaller cooking appliances, such as toaster ovens, microwaves, and air fryers, can be more eco-friendly as these don’t need as much energy as the larger units. Plus, since these don’t make the environment heated, you can expect your summer utility bills to go down because you wouldn’t have to run your air conditioner extensively.
You store various food items in the fridge and freezer. Some of them tend to have shorter shelf life than others. It can be hard to dig into them quickly if you don’t keep them in proper order. Also, a few can expire before you use, causing food waste. To avoid this, you have to station them on the front side to get quick access to ones with closer expiry dates. When you practice this as a habit, you will not have to spend time on the fridge and freezer with an open door and figure out what to buy or cook.
Eating a fresh meal is healthy. But you can store some dishes for later use also. These don’t harm your health and can offer excellent taste too. At the same time, you can bank on this trick to control your food waste and expenses. You will not have to devote much time to preparation also. Another thing is that your utility cost would decline as reheating a previous dinner doesn’t need much energy compared to cooking a fresh meal.
Organic Cleaning Products
Use recycled sponges. When you choose dish soaps and detergents, hunt for biodegradable, phosphate-free products, and don’t use harmful ingredients. Since chemicals pose a tremendous threat to aquatic life, you can opt for safer cleaning solutions to create an impact. Also, it will be better to do bulk shopping as it reduces packaging waste. Besides, you can buy biodegradable garbage bags.
Whether you ate all the food or used the leftover, there will still be some amount that you have to discard. However, you can make a difference here, too, through composting. When you compost, you reduce the load from landfills that occupy space and cause greenhouse gas emissions. If you don’t want to do it at home, you can take the compostable materials to the local farmers’ market, community garden, and other composting zones. Do you worry about storing the pile? You can keep it in the freezer or fridge to combat the issue of odor and insects.
Disposable Plates and Cutlery
While these make your life easy by reducing dishwashing pressure, you cannot depend on them for this reason. These are also a burden on the ecosystem. That’s why it is better to pull dishes from your drawers even when you go for a picnic.
Meat and Dairy Items
One of the surveys suggests that restraining the consumption of meat and dairy products can be pretty environment-friendly. Some believe beef is rather harmful to the environment. If you replace it with beans, you can save at least 38 gallons of gas that goes into cooking. You don’t need to turn vegan or vegetarian, though. But you can reduce your intake of animal products. It can also greatly benefit the planet.
Some items don’t need the preheated temperature to cook. You can look at bacon and baked potatoes, for example. You can put them in the oven and set the temperature to reach the desired heat. However, if you need to preheat your appliance, use an oven thermometer to determine the accurate temperature and help avoid the consumption of extra energy.
You cannot bring a change in your routine at one go. It can be a daunting task. But you can start with one or two things initially to become comfortable with the changes. As you progress, you can add other items to your green list. It will be a more sustainable and efficient practice. If you have already been doing a few of them, then it’s time to add a few new things to your daily activities.