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5 Tips for a Sustainable Kitchen

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

Its difficult to imagine what difference you and your kitchen can make in a world where global warming seems inevitable, massive corporations are destroying the safety of our food supply, incorporating inhumane farming methods, undermining consumers intelligence and filling our oceans with plastic wrappers. But all things start with you the consumer. Our habits in the kitchen will have an influence on the world and can change everything. Now that we know more , we can take action in our own homes. Here are 5 tips which can get you started in the right direction. 1. Cook from Scratch- When you buy whole foods and skip the ultra- processed foods which have tons of packaging and are made with chemicals and food additives, you, and the environment benefit in multiple ways. You will know exactly what is going into your food and you can control it, which will raise your vibes. You will eliminate the need for extra preservatives and additives that sustain a long shelf life for foods. You can dramatically cut down on the amount of plastic, aluminum and paper packaging which ends up in our oceans. You can use composting techniques and transform your organic waste into sustainable energy. 2. Buy Local, Seasonal and Organic whenever possible.- When purchasing foods, think in terms of "food miles". Food miles should be a top consideration in purchasing products. Organic grapes from Chile, might sound like a good choice, until you consider the many hours of jet fuel dumped into the air to get them here. This makes them "unsustainable" for a healthy ecosystem. Each season offers many special foods which are unique to that time of year. When we consume these seasonal, local offerings we're not only benefitting the local economy and the global environment, we are getting the best of the best at the best time to get it. Apples will never taste better and never have more natural high vibes than in the fall. and so on... For more on seasonality of foods check out- 3. Invest in Long-Lasting Cookware- You will be a better cook and eliminate environmental waste when you stop using cookware and containers which are designed to be discarded after limited use. Teflon cookware is notorious for having to be thrown away after a short life. High Carbon Steel pans are much better at non-stick than Teflon, once they are seasoned. Teflon coating will leach into your food also. Cast Iron is a very affordable option that will last a lifetime of use. Buy high quality knives which wont break and have to be thrown away. Choose kitchen gadgets which you purchase wisely. Buying something you use once and it gets thrown away should be avoided. Being mindful that there is no "away" to throw items which are discarded can make a huge difference. 4. Practice Energy-Efficient Cooking- Shortening oven pre-heating times can make a big difference in energy usage. Many newer ovens come to temperature much quicker than recipes call for. Often many dishes benefit if the oven is turned off 10 minutes early and the residual heat can finish cooking the product. I found this works really great with baked goods. Make the best use of the time the oven is on. Plan to prepare several items if possible while the oven is up to temperature. This can eliminate the need to turn it on again sooner. On the stove top, use the correct burner for the pot you have. A 6 inch pot heated on an 8 inch burner wastes 40 percent of the energy produced. Make sure your pot lids fit properly. This can shorten boil times and save energy also. Its the little things which add up . 5.Don't Waste - This seems obvious, but there are many things which are not obvious that can add up. Eliminate purchasing excess packaging when buying foods. Bring your own bags to the store and eliminate paper or plastic. Also think about refusing to buy products which are excessively packaged. Avoid buying and cooking too much food. Consider the people that you are cooking for and do not over cook if possible. A lot of food waste is created when we cook too much at one time. Use reusable containers and ditch the plastic bags. There are many great containers to choose from that will last a lifetime in your cabinet. Compost extra organic waste, including paper. This eliminates trash and the cuts down on the hours the vehicle is used to remove the trash. Composting gives great results for your organic gardening at home.

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