Is there any area of our home that plays a bigger part in our lives, than our kitchen? This month, we are taking a look at how some small changes to turn our kitchen green, can play a big part in the health of our planet and in our alignment with nature. Ready? Let’s get to it!
The kitchenware we use to prepare our foods can have a big impact on our planet. By choosing longer lasting cookware, instead of cookware and utensils that are throw-away, or with a shorter lifespan such as non-stick pans, we are keeping materials out of the landfills, that don’t decompose quickly. Opt for stainless steel or cast iron, and glass for baking. When appropriate, use your slow cooker or pressure cooker to save energy. Cooking with a pressure cooker for example, can save you up to 70% of cooking time and energy.
There are probably few areas in our lives that accumulate as much plastic as our kitchens. So here are some tips for storing your foods in a greener way:
- When grocery shopping bring, your own grocery and produce bags, and opt for bulk foods with less (or no) packaging.
- Choose glass containers instead of plastic
- Opt for reusable snack bags instead of plastic baggies
- Try beeswax wraps instead of plastic cling wrap
- Reuse glass jars or bottles for food storage
- Use a reusable bottle for your water on the go, rather than plastic water bottles
Make the swap to a greener clean! Traditional commercial cleaning products (dish soap, all purpose cleaners, glass cleaners) are often toxic. There are plenty of plant-based, non toxic cleaning products to choose from, or if you are into DIY, you can easily make your own using everyday ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda and essential oils.
Reduce the amount of paper towels you use by using cloth towels, napkins and wash cloths.
If you find that towels, rags and wash cloths start taking on an odour, simply add a cup of vinegar the next time you wash them!
And while we’re talking cleaning, you might not have known that washing your dishes in an energy efficient dishwasher, is actually more eco-friendly than hand washing your dishes.
Consider composting your kitchen waste. As much as 70% of household and yard waste could be diverted from landfills if we composted instead. Food decomposing in landfills create methane, a greenhouse gas that is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
By returning our organic materials to the earth, we give back and help create healthy, nutrient full soil.
Even if you don’t have a yard to use your composted humus - you can always gift it to friends, family or community gardens who would be thrilled to receive your black gold. And there are plenty of options for compact compost systems if you have limited space (consider keeping food scraps in your freezer until you have space in your composter).
Nature Aligned Kitchen Action Steps
1. Look over your pots, pans and utensils. As they need to be replaced, consider materials such as cast iron and stainless steel, and pass on the non-stick
2. Challenge yourself to reduce the plastic use in your kitchen! Reuse containers and recycle what you can. Use reusable bags, baggies and food wraps. Commit to litterless lunches and limit your purchase of “snack-packs” and goods with excessive packaging
3. Make the swap to greener cleaners, buy plant friendly options or make your own. Save water and energy by using an energy efficient dishwasher and use cloth instead of paper towels
4. Get started with composting and drastically reduce the food waste that goes in your garbage and to the landfills. Instead create incredibly nutrient rich soil that infuses the earth with energy, giving back to nature.