Are you worried about greenhouse gases, climate change or energy efficiency?
Without a doubt most of us could be much more environmentally aware in the kitchen. I certainly realise that I could be doing more!
Fortunately, there are some aspects of “greener” living that go hand-in-hand with preparing wholesome, healthy meals at home!
Easy ways to help save the environment
#1 Food shop once each week. If you plan your weekly menu effectively you should be able to reduce the amount of trips to the supermarket considerably, saving fuel and your own time to boot.
#2 Bring your own canvas bags. You can eliminate the use of hundreds of bags by bringing your own reusable bags everywhere. But, if you’re like me and you often forget to bring them, try out these colourful compact versions, which fold up into a small pouch and would fit easily into your purse, backpack or pocket.
#3 Buy local produce. Visit the farmers market to buy locally produced eggs, dairy and meat products. Also, take notice of product labels to find out where food comes from and opt for those that have traveled least. Buying products that are locally produced will save on transport, sustain local business, and create local jobs.
#4 Eat fruit and veggies in season. They are healthier, and tastier, and their cultivation has less impact on the environment, particularly when you buy locally.
#5 Reduce intake of pre-packed foods. When choosing products look for those with the least packaging, and with packaging that can be recycled.
#6 Reduce dependence on processed foods by cooking as much as possible from basic ingredients at home.
#7 Don’t buy convenience packs. At the supermarket opt for larger packs of meat, dairy, and snacks, which can be re-portioned into reusable smaller containers at home. Previous post, A Greener Way to Food Portions.
#8 Think carefully about disposable plastic. Rather than relying on plastic cling wrap and re-sealable bags, try storing food in reusable containers with lids, or using old glass jars.
#9 Use a plastic lunch box, such as Laptop Lunches. This way you can pack school and work lunches that don’t require disposable packaging.
#10 Defrost food before cooking. Cooking food from frozen obviously takes longer, and can use as much as twice the electricity. Allow food to throughly defrosted prior to cooking.
#11 Reduce the amount of pots and pans you use. If you’re cooking a large meal using lots of pots, this will increase the number of dishwasher runs and water usage required. Try using one pot recipes in a slow cooker, for energy efficient meals, and less washing-up.
#12 Cover pans with lids when cooking. Keeping the lid on whilst cooking will save energy and allow you to turn the electricity or gas ring down.
#13 Try steaming rather than boiling vegetables. If you have a steamer with 2 tiers, you can boil potatoes in the bottom tier, and steam the veg at the same time on the top. This is a healthier option, and will save energy.
#14 Cook in bulk. Cook twice the quantity and freeze the extra for another time in reusable plastic containers.
#15 Decide what you want before you open the fridge. It’s estimated that 30% of the cooled air escapes when you open the fridge door, therefore keeping it open for shorter periods of time is a good idea.
#17 Consider buying a compost bin to dispose of bio-degradable waste. Check out Easy Composting Guide for tips on how to get started.
#18 Recycle whatever you can. Check out local government websites to find out what can be recycled in your area, and how to go about it. You should be able to recycle items such as paper, cardboard, aluminium and steel cans, glass bottles, plastic containers.
#19 Start your own vegetable garden. Check out Plotting a New Vegetable Patch for more tips.
#20 Collect your rain water. Depending on your home set up, you can collect water for garden use, for home drinking water, or to supply the whole house with water.
These simple tips are merely scratching the surface of what we could be doing to protect the world we live in, however it is a step in the right direction!
I’m know some of you are very experienced at being energy efficient and preventing unnecessary waste, so what are your tips?
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