The kitchen is the place where we create the most waste. It may also be the room where the most electricity and gas is used. For anyone hoping to live a more eco-friendly life, it should be the first focus of their home. But don’t worry – you don’t have to throw away your oven and start living on raw vegetables. There are other steps you can make to help the environment whilst still maintaining those luxuries in your life. It’s all about not being wasteful.
Repair, don’t replace
A lot of us are eager to replace when something goes wrong. This may be because there’s a newer model on the market, or because we simply can’t be doing with the hassle of repairing. However, this kind of mentality is what’s leading to landfill sites being filled up. There are many companies out there that still deal in appliance repair. In most cases, mending your appliance won’t actually be as costly as replacing. Newer items are getting more and more expensive, simply for the fact that they offer more gimmicks, some of which you might not realistically ever need. That fandangled new smart kettle you saw might impress a few guests, but do you really need it to do any more than boil water?
Most modern ovens are pretty energy efficient. The days of having to wait half an hour to heat it up are over. All that time spent with the oven on and nothing inside is just a waste of gas/electricity. You most likely need to wait only five minutes. It’ll speed up cooking too!
To cut down on plastic packaging and tin cans, why not try going organic for a while. Many of us don’t like the effort of cutting onions, peeling potatoes and making sauces – but it’s a lot healthier for you and the planet. Even adding in a few more organic meals a week could make a difference. Turn it into a family activity to make it faster and more fun. Or if that’s your worst nightmare, use it as solo down time – start early, put on some music or the TV and take it at your own pace. You’ll find cooking can be quite therapeutic.
Make sure all that plastic, aluminium, glass and carboard isn’t going in the general waste bin – almost every home across the country now has recycling bins. This applies to packaging but also broken appliances that you can’t repair such as wooden spoons and plastic panhandles.
You should also make an effort to recycle food. Some people will have a compost bin specifically set up for this. Using leftovers can also reduce waste. If you’re a little too generous with a portion one day, don’t chuck the rest away – use it the next day for lunch or dinner. Leftover vegetables can be transformed into a soup or stew. Leftover meat can be shoved in between two slices of bread and turned into a tasty sandwich.