How to Set up a Sustainable Kitchen?
"Charity begins at home."
If we want to build a sustainable and eco-friendly future, it has to start from your home. Kitchen is the heart of our home. Spending time in the kitchen can sometimes cause a lot of waste materials. A well-planned kitchen helps save energy and resource materials. Here are a few ways to build a sustainable kitchen:
Cut down the food waste:
Reduce and reuse are the two key elements for a sustainable future. Unfortunately, more than 50% of your home wastage comes from the kitchen, which involves egg shells, rotten fruits and veggies, peels, old containers, wasted food, etc. According to a recent study, one person wastes 137 gms of food every day, which is 50 kgs (approx) annually. Therefore, more than 40% of food, equivalent to 92,000 crores a year, is going to landfills daily in India.
Tips to reduce kitchen waste:
- Don't clutter your fridge; only buy essentials once the previous stock is finished.
- Reuse leftovers, like egg shells, can be used in fertilizer.
- Reduce water wastage
- Store food delivery and takeout containers
- Instead of plastic or paper, use reusable food storage methods
- Freeze extra yoghurt to make a smoothie
- Layer your leftover marshmallows on brown sugar to keep it soft
Use biodegradable items:
When it comes to sustainability, most environmentalists are talking about the crucial aspect of banning plastic items, especially kitchen accessories like plastic containers, foil paper, etc. Biodegradable items include any organic material broken into carbon dioxide, water, methane, or organic molecules by microorganisms. Biodegradable waste can be easily reused, recycled, and even composted without causing any harm to the environment.
- One-time investment goes a long way; buy durable tools and utensils. Then, you can donate them or give them for decomposition after usage.
- Alternative napkins with a paper towel.
- Use greaseproof food wrapping paper instead of plastic or regular foil paper. TheBetterHome's greaseproof paper wrap is non-stick, moisture-proof, and self-sealing. Also, it's vegan, eco-friendly, and contains no harmful chemicals.
- Use reusable food wraps, lids, and bowl covers.
- Use reusable ziplock silicon food bags instead of use and throw ziplock bags.
Use the whole plant:
Have you ever wondered why we cut off the top of the celery or only pluck the fruit from the tree? Here's a little secret to building a sustainable kitchen. Try to have your own kitchen garden, and instead of chopping off the leaves and fruits, try to use the whole plant to reduce wastage. Then, instead of throwing the stems and roots, we can use them to make DIYs around the home. In case you can't use the whole plant, you have an option to decompose the unused parts. You can also make healthy veggie broth or stocks by boiling the veggie scrap. After filtering, you can include the waste in a homemade fertilizer. Some other ways to reuse the whole plant are:
- Use coffee grinds as a body scrub; it is a great exfoliating agent
- Make natural scented candles from citrus peels
- Grind leafy greens together to make a homemade pesto sauce
Apart from recycling and reusing, composting is another aspect of weight management you should include in your kitchen. Plenty of waste is generated in your kitchen that you can recycle into something else. For example, suppose you are sending the waste to a recycling centre near your house. In that case, you have to segregate the waste into three categories: wet waste like biodegradable waste items (kitchen and human waste), dry waste items like paper, foil, or napkins, and disposable materials like used diapers or glass bottles. But you can also start composting at your home.
Steps to compost at home:
- Store your food scraps together.
- Choose a place to compost, like the backyard of the garden
- Layer the food scrapes with leaves and soil and dig it regularly.
- Keep repeating the process; it generally takes up to 6-8 weeks
Switch to organic buying:
Organic food options are more expensive and not easily available in the market.
LET US TELL YOU A SECRET; this is a total myth. Organic food is easily available worldwide and at an affordable price. A sustainable kitchen needs eco-friendly food choices. Not only does it help us build a better future, but organic food doesn't contain harmful chemicals, pesticides, or parabens.
Advantages of eating organic food:
- Organic food includes natural fertilizer
- Organic food options are fresher and reduce soil erosion and pollution.
- Organic foods are GMO-free and richer in nutrients.
- Organic foods contain favourable fatty acid profile.
- Organic fruits and veggies are richer in monosaturated fat and contain 40% more antioxidants.
- Organic farming helps improve the local economy and supports a better profit margin for farmers.