The kitchen is the heart of the home – a place where friends and family can gather to prepare and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals together. But where there’s creation, often comes waste. So to ensure this special place remains one of joy and sustainability, here are nine green tips to reduce waste and make your kitchen more eco-friendly.
1. Reduce Food Waste
There’s nothing worse than reaching for those expensive strawberries in your fridge only to find they’re covered in mould. Apart from the waste of money, food waste also takes up precious landfill space. In South Africa alone, 10 million tonnes of food goes to waste every year. Start by being intentional about your grocery shopping and plan your meals in advance so that you know exactly what and how much to buy. Another handy tip is to invest in high-quality, air-tight containers and silicone lids to keep food fresh and nutritious for longer.
2. Non-toxic Cleaning Products
Conventional household cleaning products are full of toxic chemicals that are bad for your health, disrupt the microbiome of your kitchen, and are harmful to the planet. Thankfully there is a wide selection of natural, non-toxic, biodegradable, plant-based detergents to choose from. You could even go one step further and create your own all-purpose cleaner using a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.
3. Dispensers & Jugs
The water bottling process releases 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere annually. And if that’s not bad enough, disposable water bottle waste washes into the ocean and kills 1.1 million marine creatures each year. Instead, turn to beautiful glass dispensers and jugs, which not only have a much kinder effect on the environment, but your water will also taste cleaner without that plastic aftertaste. If it’s filtered water you’re after, simply add charcoal water filter sticks and you’ve got 3+ months of daily naturally purified water, without it harming our precious marine life or environment.
4. Wrap It Up In Wax
Image source: Buzzy Wraps
Say goodbye to single-use cling film, and opt for bee’s wax wraps instead. Not only are they reusable, washable and compostable, but they are also pleasing to the eye in delightful prints and patterns that are sure to add charm to your kitchen and lunchbox.
5. Throw It In Compostable Bin Bags
Image source: Bonnie Bio
Adding compostable bin bags to your kitchen is an easy way to make a big impact. They are incredibly environmentally friendly as they break down back into CO2, water and biomass, which are renewable resources and they don’t leach any toxins into the environment whilst breaking down. Go on, do the right thing!
6. Non-toxic Cookware
When the time comes to replace your cookware, be sure to look for non-toxic, eco-friendly options such as stainless steel, glass or ceramic. Although they tend to be a bit on the pricey side, these materials really stand the test of time which means you won’t have to replace them as often. They’re also much easier to clean and cook with, and don’t have any toxic finishes, making it healthier for you and the planet.
7. Turn To Composting
Did you know that the Western Cape is planning to eliminate organic waste from its landfills by 2027 (which is just around the corner)? We expect the other provinces to follow suit, too. Start your composting journey now to reduce organic waste such as food scraps, eggshells and biodegradable coffee filters. It reduces greenhouse gases, enriches the soil to help your garden flourish, and keeps food from collecting in landfills.
8. Light Up With LED
A green kitchen is an energy-efficient one. Replace your old light bulbs with LED ones, which are excellent on a long-term basis and use less energy for the same level of brightness.
9. Shop Local
Wherever possible, shop local to help reduce your carbon footprint. This means skipping the imported grapes from Israel, and choosing local, in-season fruit instead. Purchasing kitchen accessories from local suppliers also helps reduce the carbon footprint and you’re also supporting your fellow South Africans by creating jobs.
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