Create an eco friendly kitchen
If you want to lighten your home's footprint on the earth, there's no better place to start than the kitchen.
The kitchen is one place where we consume a lot of resources like food, water, oil, electricity and gas - both directly when we cook and eat, but also indirectly in the resources used to produce, pack and transport food.
Reducing your food waste is a great place to start. But there are loads of steps - big and small - that you can take to make your home that little bit more eco-friendly.
7 tips to start greening your kitchen
1. Buy local, seasonal produce
If something is not in season in your area, it has likely clocked up quite a few 'food miles' to get to you; that's the distance travelled from harvest to your plate. Those extra miles mean more resources used and greenhouse gases emitted to pack, refrigerate and transport it to you. Check out what's in season.
2. Use every edible part of the produce
Did you know that typical 'scraps' like broccoli stalks, beetroot leaves, cauliflower leaves and pumpkin skins are actually delicious and full of nutrients? Soil, water and energy has gone into growing every part of a plant, so why not eat every part of it. Not to mention that food scraps don't just quietly break down in landfill. As they rot they can release methane, a toxic greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. So get googling and get creative to see what you can include in your next meal.
3. Love your leftovers
Binning leftovers hurts the planet but it also wastes all your time and money spent buying, prepping and cooking your meal. Leftovers can be turned into all kinds of new meals like lunches, stews, sandwiches, frittatas and so on. Check out our leftover recipes if you're stuck for ideas.
4. Grow your own
There is nothing more satisfying than eating something you've nurtured with your own two hands. Growing your own food means your produce has clocked zero 'food miles' and still has all it's nutrients. If you're a beginner, start with easy herbs like rosemary or some lettuce. For green-thumbs, try going completely closed-loop by using compost and saving your own seeds.
5. Have a plan for all food you buy
If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind only China and the USA1. Buying only what you need is the easiest way to avoid food waste at home. Plan your meals, shop with a list, buy only what you need. Check out our tips to love all of your food.
6. Compost what you can't use
There are parts of food we can't eat, like eggs shells and fruit stones, so composting them keeps them out of landfill. There are plenty of composting options available from balcony-sized composters to full rotating compost bins. And when you use it on your garden, it turns their energy and nutrients into new plants! More information here or ask at your local garden centre.
7. Reduce all kinds of waste
Waste doesn't happen just from throwing food away and the zero-waste movement is well and truly taking off! Avoiding buying food wrapped in loads of packaging - which can be resource intensive to produce and is often not recyclable - is one step that can make a big difference. For tips and advice on reducing all kinds waste, there are some great zero-waste bloggers you can follow. Check out the Gippsland Unwrapped or The Rogue Ginger who are both Victorian-based.
1. FAO, Food Wastage Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources, FAO 2013