How to Reduce Kitchen and Food Waste
The kitchen is one of the places where we can all make a big difference in terms of sustainability. We will show you how to reduce kitchen waste and food waste with some simple tips, with smart planning and cooking, plus storing and preparing food in an environmentally friendly way.
Reducing food waste with proper planning
Reducing kitchen waste starts at the planning stage. You can follow a step-by-step process to help increase your environmental sustainability in the kitchen:
Do a stock check of your pantry/fridge/freezer so you know what you have.
Make a meal plan to use the food you already have.
Make a shopping list for the items you will need for your meal plan.
Only buy what you need.
How to reduce waste in the kitchen with environmentally friendly food storage.
Now that you have just the food you need, how can you continue your goal of sustainability in the kitchen? Well, by storing food in an environmentally friendly way! That includes how you store it and where you store it:
Store foods with the closest expiration date towards the front, so you use them first.
Freeze foods that you know will go past their expiration date before you can use them.
Learn how to store foods properly so they will keep as long as possible. For example, according to Food Print, potatoes, onions, and garlic should be stored in dry, dark places, while apples, peppers and berries should be stored away from bananas and tomatoes, which produce ethylene gas that spoils surrounding foods.
Reducing food waste with smart cooking
Reducing kitchen waste continues with how you cook it. Here are some tips on how to ensure less food ends up in the trash:
Check expiration dates and use fruits and vegetables that are close to expiring in soups and smoothies, which can then be frozen.
Look for recipes for leftovers, so you can enjoy all the food you've cooked, without extra portions going to waste.
Use vegetable scraps (peels/stems/ends) to make homemade broth or put them in the compost pile to be fertilizer for your garden.
How to reduce food waste with environmentally friendly food preparation
When preparing food, you can make smart product choices to help your food last longer. For example, using a sheet of paper towel to absorb excess water in the vegetable compartment will help those leaves and vegetables stay crisp and last longer.
You can also replace plastic sponges with heavy-duty kitchen paper towel to help remove grease and grime from chopping boards after preparing food on them.
Sustainability in the kitchen: Alternatives to buying plastic
There are many alternatives to plastics that you can try at home:
Using refills of liquid dish soap, etc. instead of buying a new bottle (and squeezing out every last drop).
Change plastic bags for reusable cloth bags when buying groceries.
Change pre-packaged food in plastic containers for loose food in paper bags.
With these tips on how to reduce waste in the kitchen, you can make the center of your home a more environmentally friendly place.