We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, standing in front of the open fridge, foraging for a snack, running the water and heating up the stove, congregating with the family and friends to review the events of the day – and cooking and eating too! All of that can add-up to impact resources consumed and/or waste generated.
Since the kitchen is a focal-point in our lives, let’s strive to make the kitchen a more sustainable room, one that contributes more closely to the health of our families and the planet. Here are five things you can do to create a green kitchen today:
Ditch plastic containers, plastic wraps and bags, and aluminum foil. Glass jars are more practical and pleasing, easier to use, better for you, and better for the environment. You can see what’s in jars more readily, so leftovers are less likely to go to waste.
Replace noxious, harmful chemicals with safe, natural alternatives. Scrub with baking soda and disinfect with distilled white vinegar. Lemon, borax, table salt, and castile soap are all effective cleaners that are better for the home environment, and olive oil is better than many commercial products for treating wood furniture. Using these nontoxic concoctions, enlist your kiddos and set them to work scrubbing. You will be delighted by how fresh and clean your home will be.
Use food more completely
The amount of food that goes bad and gets thrown away is shameful. Do more with what you have. Work leftovers into the next day’s lunch or supper. Many of the vegetable scraps we throw out, including peels and green tops, can be used in satisfying and nourishing food like stocks, soups, sauces, and bone broths. And, if they become “iffy”, just throw them into the compost or garden to salvage those nutrients. Almost everything we don’t eat can compost so that it goes back to its highest and best use where it belongs. Even eggshells can help our kitchen gardens grow. (Meat scraps are an exception. Keep them out of the compost pile.)
Livestock can consume significant amounts of water and feed resources to grow, and they produce substantial waste. If we eat less meat, it is not only healthier for our diets, we make an impactful reduction in our environmental footprint.
There are so many yummy plant and grain-based foods we can choose just one night a week that will result in a win-win. Add more beans and flax to your diet. Roast up a big pile of veggies in olive oil and serve them on polenta squares. Add “meaty” mushrooms to pasta dishes. Sprinkle nuts and fruits on your salad for more texture, flavor, and satisfaction. Eat burritos or tacos stuffed with rice, beans, and cheese… with a little sour cream maybe…
Ditch the paper towels
Paper towels are the biggest source of waste world-wide. Using them to soak up a small spill and discarding it, millions of times around our country daily, contribute to overflowing landfills and overworked incinerators. Any reusable cleaning cloth reduces the amount of solid waste generated. If those cloths are compostable, like DURAFRESH™ cloths, solid waste can be reduced to near zero. And if, like DURAFRESH™ cloths, they’re made from the parts of trees that can’t be used for lumber or paper, then you reduce the impact on the production end as well.
Keep a stack of DURAFRESH™ cloths at the ready for all your kitchen & home clean-up needs. They rinse dramatically better than any other cloth or sponge (so they do not re-spread germs like those traditional items), they are bio-degradable (unlike synthetic microfibers) and they save consumers significant $s, time after time. And when they’re really soiled, just toss them in the laundry and reuse.
Learn more about GLOBEcoMaine’s innovative, eco-sustainable DURAFRESH™ cleaning cloth, including where they can be purchased here.