How to "Greenify" Your Kitchen

PHOTOGRAPHY: PAULINE BOLDT

 

Reducing waste is a serious hot topic at the moment–and for good reason! It’s no longer apparent that we can rely on recycling to be the saviour of our consumerism, so the only choice is to simply decrease our outputs of trash, especially from the kitchen.

 There are so many options now to replace the use of Saran Wrap or single use plastics. Our universal goal should be to limit garbage in our household as much as possible, because waste becomes methane gas that is omitted into our atmosphere contributing to greenhouses gases. No Bueno.

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Here are 5 ways you can ‘greenify’ your kitchen TODAY to save on waste and also a little $$ while you’re at it!

 

REUSABLE CLOTHs INSTEAD OF TOWELS

Last time I checked, it doesn’t take long to go through a roll of paper towel! Opt for some reusable towels that can be kept on hand for quick spills, dying or even cleaning! I like to keep a clean stack in a basket under my sink and an empty one for the dirties. You will be much more likely to use them if you have a system in place!

 To clean the towels, simply use regular soap on a warm cycle, and omit the fabric softener because it makes towels less absorbent. Shop for my favourite reusable towels here: one, two, three.

 

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Sprouting roots.

Sprouting roots.

GROW RIGHT AT HOME!

Growing a garden in your backyard is ideal, but not realistic for everyone. But did you know that it’s super easy to grow sprouts and herbs in your own kitchen?

 I’m big on sprouts at the moment! Sprouting kits can be found all over the internet, but the exact one I have can be found here, and it’s literally a cake walk to start growing (just follow the instructions). In just a few days, you can have a jar full of nutritiously dense sprouts, such as broccoli, mustard, alfalfa or radish to add to salads and sandwiches! Did you know that broccoli spouts have 100x more antioxidants than regular broccoli? MIND BLOWN!

For herbs, all you need is a sunny window. Yup, that’s it! Simply grab an herb plant from the greenhouse (or you can start from seed) plant in a pot, set in front of a sunny window and you are on your way. Herbs are an amazing addition to dishes off all sorts, such as pasta (hello, basil!), salad dressings and side dishes, without the wastage of hard-plastic packaging (just don’t forget to water it!).


Colibri snack bags.

Colibri snack bags.

DITCH SINGLE USE PLASTICS FOR REUSABLE MATERIALS!

 

It’s 2019 people, there are so many options out there to replace all single use plastics! Reusable totes, produce, sandwich or silicone bags, beeswax wraps, and glass containers; just to name a few. Storing leftovers, produce, frozen items, and packing your lunch or groceries sustainably has never looked so good!

 

Some of my most loved products include my Colibri snack bags–perfect for sandwiches, fruits, nuts or crackers. To clean, simply machine wash cold and hang to dry. No more single use sandwiches bags EVER AGAIN!

 

Beeswax wraps.

Beeswax wraps.


BUY IN BULK!

Bulk is best when it comes to reducing the amount of packaging you’re taking home. A large bag of, let’s say, walnuts will contain less wrapping than a bunch of tiny packages to make up the same amount. If you know you already use large amounts of one item, don’t be afraid to stock up! Essentials such as rice, dried beans or pasta, nuts, salt and sugar are perfect in large quantities because of their long and stable shelf life. You’ll save some cash, too!

Pro Tip: Ditch the packaging all together and stock up at Bulk Barn. Take your clean containers to get pre weighed at the cash register then filled at the bins. Also, be sure to sign up for their e-newsletter, they send out coupons every month!

Disclaimer: Avoid impulse bulk shopping of fresh goods. (We’ve all done it… A bag of 12 avocados for $4.99 is just too good to be true!). It might sound like a deal at the time, but chances are it will spoil before you get a chance to use it all. Most of the time, if it’s marked down, it’s already close to going bad.  

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REDUCE WASTE WITH PROPER STORAGE!

Have you ever brought some veggies or herbs home, just to find them go soft and rotten within a few days? I know, the worst... such a waste! It can be hard to tell the longevity of something from the grocery store, but you can extend its shelf life with some proper storage items at home. Produce storage containers ventilate your produce and wicks away excess moisture that causes premature rot. The result will be less waste and getting more out of your purchases!

For some clever items to help store your food to keep it fresher for longer, check out this website and check out our previous blog on storing ‘Fruits + Vegetables 101’ here!

It’s also important to take note on food spoilage. The average household wastes 240 lbs of food each year. Not only is that wasted carbon, but its waste money and time on your behalf!


I hope I’ve inspired you to make a few small changes to “greenify” your own kitchen!

Cheers!

Carly Minish