It is of such importance that we take time to reduce waste in our homes if you take time to think about where the most waste is produced in your house; the kitchen is likely to come to mind first.
According to research, it is estimated that fifty per cent of all produce in the US gets thrown away. So, every small change in reducing waste and becoming plastic-free counts.
A great way to reduce waste and the amount of plastic packaging you use it to buy in bulk. Select foods that your family eats often, and you have a way to store, then buy this biggest size you need. Not only will you be reducing waste and cutting down on packaging, but you will also be saving money as the more you buy the better value it is likely to be.
Only Make Necessary Purchases
Make a list before you go grocery shopping to ensure you only buy what you and your family need. A great way to stay to manage this is to plan your meals.
Grow Your Own Produce
The best way to avoid waste and using packaging is to grow your own fruit and veg. Growing your own food produces barely any waste, it is also fulfilling to see them grow throughout the year, and know your food is fresh and in season.
After growing your food, you can also learn how to preserve it. For example, using fresh tomatoes to make a soup or sauce, or making fresh jam from fruits. If you find yourself with too much on your hands, share with your neighbours – I’m sure they would appreciate your hard work!
Don’t Waste Leftovers
If you do find you have leftovers, make the most of them and put them in a covered dish in the fridge and have them for your lunch tomorrow. This will save you time and money and often people find that food tastes better the next day.
Make The Most Of Your Food
Think outside the box of what foods are commonly used for. Here are some examples:
- If you can’t finish the gallon of milk in your fridge before it expires. Don’t wait for it to curdle instead, learn to make cottage cheese with it.
- Use overripe and dark bananas to bake a delicious banana bread.
- Give a new lease of life to stale chips, by putting them in the microwave for ten seconds – this will give them their crisp back.
- Prolong the life of eggs lightly rubbing the shells with a thin layer of vegetable oil, before storing the eggs in the fridge. The oil will keep the eggs fresh for longer.
- Don’t throw your flat soda away instead, pour it into an ice cube tray and pop in the freezer to make tasty treats.
- Don’t waste dry, old bread. If it won’t chip a tooth, you can chop it up, sauté it with spices, and make croutons for soup or salads.
- When a recipe needs a few drops of lemon, instead of slicing and squeezing the lemon, puncture the rind with a toothpick and gently squeeze out the small amount of juice you need. Then simply cover the hole with a piece of tape and store the lemon in the fridge for later use.
Swap To A Scrubber
Instead of using a dishcloth to wash your dishes, that quickly becomes dirty and smelly and needs replacing often, invest in a Susi’s Scrubbers’ dish scrubber. They are more durable due to being made with tough materials so will last much longer than a dishcloth, the scrubber also can be easily washed after each use and hanged up to dry with the handy hook added into the design and does not hold onto gross odours – so will remain fresh and will last twice as long as any dishcloth.
Take Your Own Bag
Make it a ritual to always take reusable bags with you when you go shopping, a great way to never forget them is to keep them in the trunk of your car. Plastic seems to be everywhere, so this small change to your shopping will make a big impact if everyone gets on board. If for some reason you do have to take a plastic bag from a store, ensure you re-use it, either for future food shops or as a bin liner.
Invest In Reusable Products
There are so many reusable products that can replace single-use products. For example, you can now ditch your paper cup with its flimsy plastic lid for a sturdy reusable coffee cup – this is nothing but an upgrade, and you could also see extra benefits as many coffee shops offer discounts to people who bring their own cups.
Plastic straws are one of the most awful single-use products, as most recycling facilities can not recycle them. There are many alternatives available now, the paper and metal being the most popular. I would recommend a metal one you can use again and again, you can even get a fold-up metal one to put on your key ring – no excuses!
Swap your plastic or paper containers for glass or metal ones. These will last for years, instead of only being practical for a single use. A metal container is handy and light and will ensure your food stays fresh. Whereas, a glass one will do the same and can also be beneficial if you plan on microwaving your lunch on the go.
This may seem like an obvious one, but not to be forgotten. Most of us know the main things that can be recycled such as most plastics, paper, glass and cardboard, but its worth doing extra research to see what else can be recycled. For example, did you know that many cartons can now be recycled?
After you have identified what is recyclable in your area, when you are grocery shopping you will be able to choose the eco-friendliest packaging available, by looking for packaging that is recyclable in your area.
I hope this post helps you to cut down on waste in your kitchen!