in.gredients

Guest Blog Post: Creating a Zero-Waste Kitchen

with 3 comments

zerowastekitchen2

Whether you desire to save some green or live more green, the Zero-Waste philosophy is for you! Innovating the 3 R’s of living green (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), the Zero-Waste philosophy is all about creating an eco-lisitc understanding of the products and resources we use as we aim to consume (and spend) less.

The kitchen is one of the most wasteful areas in our household. 40% of food in the US goes to the landfill, and 30% of municipal landfill waste is packaging, a majority of which comes from our kitchen (National Resource Defense Council 2012, Environmental Protection Agency 2007.) On top of all that, consider the army of disposables such as paper towels, plastic bags, and aluminum foil that is conventionally used and then tossed into the trash. With statistics like these, can you imagine the amount of change we can create by reevaluating our habits in the kitchen?

Here are some useful tips for creating a zero-waste kitchen. Feel free to begin with the few you’re confident you can do and add more as you go! By continuously integrating these small changes and embracing the Zero-Waste philosophy, we can be certain we are truly having a positive impact on our world (while saving some cash.)

If you have any more ideas or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment or email me. I always love hearing new creative ways to live simply and fabulously green.

Preparing + Eating

  • Buy in Bulk using reusable containers (and bags!) and buy locally.

  • Sprout at Home: it’s easy, cost-effective + creates the perfect salad topper.

  • Mini-Herb Gardens: freshen your indoor air, while greening your thumb + spicing up your dishes.

  • Make sure you are storing your fresh fruits + veggies properly: how often do we toss food for spoiling quicker than you expected? Here’s one great online guide from My Thirty Spot to check out.

  • Utilize that freezer! Whether you cook soups + sauces in large quantities or prepare veggie squares for green smoothies, your freezer is your bestfriend when it comes to preserving your produce.

  • Try some Recipes for the almost…:

    1. Too-ripe fruit

      1. Smoothies

      2. Low-Fat, Raw-Vegan Ice-Cream (aka blended frozen bananas)

      3. Homemade Jams

      4. Fruit Bread + Muffins

      5. Fruit Leather/Stripes

    2. Too-soft veggies

      1. Spaghetti Sauce

      2. Veggie Soups

      3. Green Smoothie Squares

    3. Too-hard bread

      1. Croutons

      2. Pita chips

      3. Bread Crumbs

      4. Stuffing

      5. Soup Topping

  • Simple (yet clever) Cooking Tricks:

    1. Steam your veggies as you boil pasta in to steam veggies.

    2. The electric kettle is up to twice as efficient as a stove-top, so to jump start the boiling water for pasta, rice etc. use the electric kettle.

    3. To save some energy when using the oven to roasted veggies or bake cookies, consider turning off the oven up to 15 minutes before indicated time. As long as you don’t open the door + let the heat out, the oven will stay hot.

  • When packing lunches or putting up leftovers use reusable packaging such as glass containers, U Konserve snack bags, or organic towels to wrap fruit.

  • To prevent avocados, pears, etc. from turning brown after cut from oxidation, try squirting a little bit of lemon before storing in a reusable container.

For more recipes, articles, + information on going Zero Waste in the Kitchen check out my Pinterest board!

Sustainably yours,

Jessa

@jwestXO

Written by cscdavis

June 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm

3 Responses

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  1. You can also bring hard vegetables (carrots, celery, green onions, asparagus) back to life by putting them in water!

    Emily

    June 8, 2013 at 10:15 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Sustainable Santa Fe and commented:
    From the folks that know.

    sustainablesantafe

    June 10, 2013 at 4:51 pm

  3. Great tips!

    ecovegangal

    July 18, 2013 at 10:29 pm


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