Find eco-friendly cooking tips and recipes with 'green’ ingredients
There’s an age-old saying that “home is where the heart is.”
In its truest sense, it conveys that ‘home’ is a feeling, not a place. It may also be the reason why many of us feel so at home when we’re cooking. To ensure that we better protect the planet, and we all have a home for a long time to come, being more sustainable can certainly help.
Our simple tips can help you build a foundation for sustainable habits that you can utilise for your day-to-day meal prep.
Kitchen sustainability starts by planning for your grocery shop. Whether you’re living at home by yourself, sharing a space with your partner, or have a large family to cater to, it’s important to make sure that you’re shopping for the right amount of food for your week.
Some questions to keep in mind when planning your shop could be:
- How many meals do I need to prepare this week?
- How much of each food item will I need to cook those meals?
- Is there likely to be any leftovers or excess food that can be eaten the following day?
- Can any food scraps be composted instead of thrown into landfill?
Then, when you’ve made a list of what you need, it’s time to get your shopping bags organised.
Since single-use plastic bags have been phased out in most large-chain supermarkets, you’ll need to use your reusable tote bags. And if you use those smaller plastic bags when buying fruits and vegetables, make sure you hang onto them when you’re done with them. That way you can re-use them when you’re next in the veggie aisle of the supermarket.
Part of being a responsible consumer is making sure that you learn which foods are seasonally available. We’d all love a juicy mango in the middle of winter, but the fact is, that foods grown out of their seasonal cycle put a strain on supply chains, use more energy, and are often not as ripe.
Eating seasonally also gives you an excuse to develop a green thumb. If you have a garden, or the capacity to grow your own herbs and vegetables, why not learn which seedlings are available and start planting your own food?
Shop organically and locally
Get to know your local fruit and vegetable market!
Whether you’re a long-term resident in your suburb or new to the area you live in, it’s always good to support small businesses. You may often find that their produce is cheaper, organically farmed, and uses natural fertilisers which can help maximise the number of nutrients available.
Who knows - you may meet someone who will share some gardening knowledge or teach you some specific cooking techniques. Don’t be shy, you never know who you’ll meet in your local community.
Post meal considerations
After each meal, there are quite often some yummy leftovers. So, we’ve listed a few things you can do to help you properly round out your sustainable cooking journey:
- If you have leftovers that you don’t want, you may need to estimate the number of ingredients you use next time.
- Throwing your leftovers in the bin should be your last option.
- Where possible, pack up your leftovers into containers that are BPA-free, ethically sourced, and made from materials that are reusable and recyclable.
- If your leftovers are still hot, wait for them to cool down some more before refrigerating them (if needed). Your fridge has to use more energy to cool down hot items, so just wait a little while.
- If it’s not possible to save your excess food, put them in your compost bin. If your house doesn’t have a compost bin – you should probably get one. We’ve created a complete guide to composting if you need help knowing which foods and household items you should save and which you can throw away.
- When it comes to cleaning up, set your dishwasher to a cycle that will delay the wash for a later time of night. This will save you time, energy, and most importantly, it uses less water than washing the dishes by hand.
Now you’re cooking!
Hopefully, you now have a better grasp of the knowledge and the resources required for cooking more sustainably - so it’s time to put it all into practice!
If you have any additional tips on how to shop, cook, or eat in an environmentally conscious manner, please share your ideas by messaging us on our social channels.