The average American kitchen is incredibly inefficient and not eco-friendly. From water-guzzling appliances to immense amounts of food waste, we all need to take a good look at where we can make changes to our kitchen habits that will be better for the planet and for our wallets. Here are 6 eco-friendly kitchen hacks to get you started.
1. Make a Meal Plan
The first step is one you should be doing already. Making a meal plan is a great way to decrease both your food waste and your spending on groceries. If you know exactly what you plan on eating over the course of a week, you won’t be prone to impulse buys and expensive, unhealthy, and prepackaged options. In addition, you’ll be able to track nutrition and calories more easily. Factor in all your meals and snacks to make a realistic meal plan that works for you.
2. Reuse and Recycle Your Leftovers
Factor any leftovers you know you’ll have into your meal plan and make a dedicated leftovers night. Don’t feel as though you need to eat the same thing, since leftover veggies and meat scraps can make for an easy soup the next night. In addition, you can find ways to repurpose parts of your food that you would otherwise throw out – think using stale bread for breading your pork chops. Making a compost heap is another great way to move towards a lower-waste lifestyle.
3. Upgrade Your Storage
All kinds of foods benefit from having the right storage to maximize their lifespan. Airtight containers are a must for maximizing the freshness of fruits and veggies, and they will prevent bugs and rodents from getting into your pantry staples as well. You should also make a habit of freezing finished dishes you know you won’t be able to eat within the next few days. This way you’ll have an easy meal when you don’t want to cook and you’ll waste less food as well.
4. Strategize Your Shopping
In addition to a meal plan, there are ways you can strategize your shopping to be cheaper and more eco-friendly. When you get pantry staples such as rice and dry beans, try getting them in larger packages and transferring them into your new airtight containers. Having these staples on hand will make everyday cooking much easier. You should also try to eat local and seasonal produce whenever you can. Find ways to support local small farmers, who will likely use fewer pesticides and more eco-friendly growing techniques. Buying produce in-season is also often cheaper and reduces the carbon footprint that transporting produce long distances causes.
5. Invest in a Water Filter
Water filters are a simple way to make a big, eco-friendly impact in your kitchen. If you aren’t drinking from the tap, it’s probably because your water has a mineral-like taste that’s unpleasant. Getting a water filter will keep you from buying expensive bottled water that’s always packaged in plastic. In addition, there are some water filters, such as the EcoWater filter, that go out of their way to use more eco-friendly manufacturing techniques and help save you water as well.
6. Find Sustainable Cleaning Products
The vast majority of cleaning products you probably have in your kitchen are filled with chemicals that are bad for your family and your environment. Fortunately, there are vast arrays of eco-friendly cleaning products that are now easily available at most stores. There are also DIY options, which often use baking powder as a mild, eco-friendly alternative to more aggressive chemicals.
A more eco-friendly kitchen doesn’t have to be a difficult thing to accomplish. By implementing these hacks one by one, you’ll be able to help usher in a more sustainable, eco-friendly future for everyone.
Article Submitted By Community Writer