For most people, the kitchen is the central hub of the home. Cooking is an integral part of our lives, but it’s also become a major contributor to climate change as result of waste. Despite the growth of our eco-awareness in recent years, many of us are still using outdated and wasteful kitchen methods.
If you’re looking for affordable and straightforward ways to reduce your kitchen waste, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to discover why minimizing our impact is essential and learn 8 easy ways to make a difference.
Why Is It Important To Reduce Our Kitchen Waste?
In 2019 alone, Canada wasted 35.5 million tonnes of food – more than half of all food produced. As our landfills pile high with perfectly edible produce, the greenhouse gas emissions released into our atmosphere simultaneously increase.
Alongside the apparent problem of food waste, many other wasteful kitchen practices impact the planet, including:
- Wasted energy caused by inefficient appliances
- Unnecessary purchasing of single-use plastics
- Replacing equipment instead of repairing it
All of these problems contribute to the cycle of waste which continues to damage our planet. As a collective, we can make minimal cooking upgrades to cut down our household impact massively.
8 Easy Cooking Upgrades to Cut Down Your Kitchen Waste
1. Use Silicone Baking Mats
We’ve all become conscious of how paperless processes can make the planet a better place in recent years. So why aren’t we applying the same principles to cooking too?
Silicone baking mats are an ideal replacement for parchment paper that’s often not even recyclable. Instead of using a strip of baking paper and throwing it in the bin, silicone mats are the perfect alternative. They’re made with a non-stick coating and can be used time and time again, levelling up your cooking game AND making it more eco-friendly.
2. Invest in Green Water Storage
Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or packing up your kids’ lunches, there’s no excuse for letting plastic bottles take over your kitchen. Invest in a water filtration system or a self-filtering jug to keep water cool and fresh in the home. Once your water is cold, serve it in a beautiful carafe, divide it into reusable glass bottles or fill your flask to sip on the go.
The possibilities are endless. And the waste? Eliminated!
3. Use a Food Waste Recycler
Are you feeling guilty about food waste but can’t bear the thought of outdoor composting? If you answered yes, it’s time to invest in a food waste recycler.
Devices like the FoodCycler are an ideal alternative to composting, slotting seamlessly into your kitchen and making odours a thing of the past. They pulverise and dehydrate scraps, turning them back into organic matter for use as plant fertilizer. Clever, right?
4. Buy Reusable Food Bags
If you’re putting together a feast worthy of the finest chefs, you’ve probably got a shopping list longer than your apron. Collecting all of the items you need to bring a dish to life can be expensive, but it also means you’re left with stacks of plastic packaging to dispose of.
Instead of shopping pre-packaged, why not invest in reusable food bags? With your own food storage, you can shop for fresher groceries, spices and proteins to make your dishes pop.
Since 8 million pieces of plastic end up in the ocean daily, it’s important to avoid purchasing it wherever possible!
5. Add a Labeller to Your Tool Kit
You might be wondering how on earth a labelling device has the power to cut down your kitchen waste, right? It’s THIS simple.
Many of our food waste contributions are caused by over-purchasing and a lack of awareness surrounding expiration dates. So many of us cook in bulk at home to save time and money, but it’s easy to forget how long you have to eat your meals without the original packaging.
A food labeller can solve this problem. Cook your meals, pop them in the freezer and label them to let your future self know when to use them. We told you it was simple!
6. Buy Cookware to Fit Your Stove
Did you know that conventional hobs waste approximately 50% of the energy they use? While replacing your kitchen appliances might be a costly solution to this eco-nightmare, investing in better cookware is a lot more realistic.
By purchasing pans that fit perfectly over the rings of your hob (or slightly larger if you can’t get an exact match), you can minimize the amount of energy that goes to waste. This means less fossil fuel consumption and less CO2 released into the atmosphere.
Small changes make a significant impact!
7. Filter Your Own Hot Beverages
If you’re a tea or coffee drinker, you probably can’t even estimate how many disposable filters you’ve drunk your way through over the years. While something this minor may not seem like a major problem, it contributes to the broader issue of our collective wasteful behaviours.
To continue your caffeine-fuelled lifestyle in a more eco-friendly way, try investing in a reusable coffee filter instead. For tea, enjoy browsing a whole world of strainers, nets and bouquets for your brewing pleasure.
8. Cook With Recycled Aluminium Foil
The kitchen accounts for between 8%-14% of all water used in the home and 33% goes to waste. Using foil isn’t the most sustainable solution, but it can dramatically reduce the amount of water we waste on rigorous cleaning.
Before cooking, cover your baking trays, pans and grills with foil to catch any oil or by-products produced. If you purchase recyclable foil, you can quickly dispose of it after eating and avoid the masses of water required to remove tough dirt and grime.
The idea of making your home more eco-friendly can be overwhelming, but the kitchen is a great place to start. Food waste is a hugely pressing problem, but it’s also a crisis we can solve together by making simple and more intelligent decisions.
A Note on Terminology
The FoodCycler® is a countertop electric food waste recycler that breaks down food scraps through a mechanical process into a dry, lightweight by-product that can be used in gardening applications as a fertilizer. The FoodCycler® and other electric food waste recyclers are not composters, nor do they produce compost or soil as they do not require additional microbes to break down food waste with bacteria. However, the term "electric composter" has been used to describe electric food waste recyclers.