Today, sustainability is a fairly new concept. It simply involves consciously changing our lifestyles to be mindful of the waste that we create and the resources we consume. Making any area of life more sustainable, involves making small changes to make a big difference eventually.
These small changes do not have to be harsh on the pocket, tedious or elaborate. They simply need to be mindful. Having covered how to make your bathroom more sustainable, this blog will share easy switches, tips and hacks to make your kitchen more sustainable.
Kitchen might seem like a place where most waste is biodegradable, most things are natural but unfortunately, they are not. Kitchen waste also includes foils, packets, wrappers, cleaners and many packaging items that are not compostable. The kitchen also requires a lot of water. This blog is all about how to make those mindful kitchen choices to make your habits in the kitchen more sustainable.
1. Say NO to new Plastic!
Nobody is a stranger to the harmful effects of plastic on the environment but we go on to use plastic, especially single use plastic like plastic garbage bags, disposable plates, cutlery. We still prefer to buy tupperware despite having glass and steel alternatives for the same. As a conscious consumer, your first step towards a sustainable kitchen is to use the plastic you already own. No, plastic is not your devil; dumping plastic on a daily basis is the demon. The most sustainable alternative is the one you already own, despite it being plastic or otherwise. However, whenever you want to buy new things for your kitchen, make sure you find alternatives for plastic. Try replacing it with more long life and sustainable options available like a switch to organic cotton or jute bags to buy groceries. Use glass containers instead of plastic containers as they are more environmentally friendly and can be recycled easily. Wooden or metal utensils are always a better option as they tend to have a longer life.
2. Swap your Aluminium wraps with Beeswax wraps
Aluminium wraps are almost as worse as plastic wraps, perhaps even more! Their production requires the use of fossil fuels (whose doesn’t, but you get it right!) largely than the other alternatives available on a much reasonable scale. Opt for beeswax wraps;they are made of natural honey, compostable and resuble. A fun fact, these beeswax wraps are DIY’s thus can easily be made at home.
3. Buy Local
Buying products from your local market will avoid the wastage of locally produced products and save the transportation cost as well as the environmental footprint involved in the movement of products from various places. Imported strawberries from Mexico might sound like a delicious option but our local produce is as nutritious and worth all the extra carbon footprint you would save!
4. Pre plan your Meals
It makes us jump out of our skins everytime we have to throw that one lost vegetable hidden behind that extra stuffing you accidently made and now it all belongs to the bin. One of the most common things that we observe in any household is the wastage of food due to unplanned food proportions. We often use half a cabbage and leave the remaining half to rot in the refrigerator. As our journey in mindful consumption progresses, keeping in mind what meals to make and how much with what produce is available will help maintain the efficiency of your kitchen. Preplanning meals is great to maintain diets, avoid wastage and of course, save all the money that you would otherwise throw away in the bin.
5. Manage your leftovers!
Even after a whole week of planning your meals, you could find yourself in a situation with food still left in your fridge out of which some might not be edible anymore. Now the question arises, “what should I do with it?”
One of the most basic strategies you can opt for is a compost pit. If you have sufficient space in your yard make a compost pit for all your leftovers.
In India, there is a high chance that you live in an apartment without a yard. We got you! These creative tips could help you. . An Indian household always has half cut, almost drying lemons on the top shelves of the refrigerator. Here is what you do, peel off the top layer and use them for your nails. Ta-da you reuse the leftovers. Make a vegetable stock of the remaining vegetable, use the rice water for your hair, just don’t let anything go to waste. Atlast, after all your hacks, nothing seems to workout, you can invest in a compact Self Composting bin. All in all, whatever you do is better than what you did earlier.
6. Opt for more efficient and environmentally friendly cooking methods
It is observed that a pressure cooker uses almost 70% less energy when compared to a normal pan. This will help you save energy and speed up the cooking process. Solar ovens are your perfect sense of sustainability, whereas non-stick pans are your kitchen’s enemy. According to Recyclebank, non-stick pans cannot be recycled due to the presence of the non-stick coating called “Teflon” on them. Teflon is not good to be consumed as well. Thus, making it not such an eco-friendly or healthy option for you.
7. Switch to Reusable Cotton Towels!
One of the most basic yet ignored is using reusable cotton towels over paper towels. This not only saves the resources but is even pocket friendly. You can also DIY them by putting your old towels to use by cutting them into smaller pieces. Collect all the reusable towels that you have upcycled and wash them at once. This helps your pocket and the sustainability quotient of your kitchen.
8. Choose Natural Air fresheners
Avoid all the fancy looking and expensive air fresheners available in the market. Instead, go natural or maybe even DIY your air freshener. One of the easiest ones that you could go for is the vinegar and water. You can make it by just mixing 1 part vinegar and 4 part water into a spray bottle. If you are looking for a bit of a fruity and refreshing fragrance go for citrus wheels. They are extremely easy to make, all you need to do is to dry any of the citrus fruit and bake them at low temperature and there you go, you will have the most refreshing smell in your kitchen. Lastly, ensure that your kitchen is well lit by natural light. This would not only save you on the electricity cost but would also brighten up the kitchen.
These are some of the small changes and easy switches that you can incorporate into your kitchen. People often say that a single person cannot make a change but if you do not initiate it, nobody will. Your change is likely to inspire people and the chain grows! We need to become more conscious as a consumer to make our lifestyle sustainable. Changing the way we carry on with our life would even force the industries to opt for more natural production processes and ensure more sustainable products. Convinced yet?
We know that change requires time, it also requires persistence; so treat this journey with due patience. We cannot choose to become sustainable in a single day, we will have to work for it and make sure our decisions are made with a conscious mindset.
We must try to understand and implement these small changes in our lives. We must realize that these “convenience creations” by humankind have not really worked in our favor. They are threatening our future. It's about making that small change and protecting it.
Also, check out our reel on instagram that covers a few more hacks that you can follow in the kitchen to be a little more sustainable.