Sustainability in the Kitchen
A Few Tips for Sustainability in the Kitchen
by Kimberley Graham
The kitchen is a place to enjoy preparing food, where wild and enticing aromas are conjured up and a place to take a break with a tea or a coffee. The kitchen is also a place where we store, consume and make waste. In the kitchen, we may find ourselves using a lot of convenience products. This article will explore a few areas of the kitchen where we can make easy adjustments and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.
Many of us find it extremely convenient to have paper towels ready and on hand in the kitchen. They are great for cleaning up accidental spills, drying wet hands, or for including in a packed or picnic lunch.
When considering which paper towel to use, why not look at an eco-friendly option? Most paper towels and napkins are made from trees that may not be sustainably sourced or made from recycled materials. This means paper towel use may be contributing to cutting down trees from forests that are home to wildlife, protect water supplies and that provide numerous environmental benefits for people and the planet.
However, there are alternatives. It is now possible to buy kitchen towels made from sponges, bamboo, or a range of other natural materials, rather than from trees. And it turns out, the Swedish have quietly been leading the way on this front, with a non-paper towel made entirely from natural sponge. The Swedish non-paper towels are durable and can be included in the compost when they have reached their end of life.
Keeping Fruit and Vegetables Fresh
So many items we buy in daily life are covered in packaging, especially fruit and vegetables that are covered in plastic wrap. One way to avoid the plastic is to shop at local farmers market or buy produce in bulk at wholesale outlets. The Reusable Drawstring Bag can help to keep your fruit and vegetable fresh for longer, while the Linen Market Pouch is great for stocking up.
Composting is the natural decomposition of organic materials such as food scraps, leaves and grass clippings. Turning waste into compost means less waste goes to landfills. Also, organic waste is full of nutrients for new trees, fungi, fruits and vegetables. Aerobic microorganisms help the process and need oxygen, heat and water to grow and multiply. These microorganisms create heat, water vapor and carbon dioxide as they break down the organic waste material.
Composting at home is easy. Simply make or buy a compost bin and put all of your food scraps inside. If your do not live in an area that collects green waste separately, go ahead and add them to your garden, or give them to a friend. Once you start down this route, you may even discover local community gardens in your area that are looking for compost, or a range of uses for certain types of compost, such as growing mushrooms from used ground-coffee.
The kitchen is a great place to start, or enhance, your sustainability journey. These are just a few ideas to inspire acton. Feel free to reach out and share your tips and tricks.