When it comes to reducing your waste your kitchen and cooking habits could be a big problem. We throw away tons of food and packaging every year and that all ends up in a landfill somewhere. However, there are a few easy ways you can reduce your waste:
1. Proper Storage and Preparation – The first thing you can do to reduce waste in your kitchen is to learn how to properly store your food. Fresh produce can last a lot longer if it is properly stored. This gives you healthier, better tasting produce and will reduce the amount of food that is thrown out because it is spoiled. Clean and prepare your produce before you even put it away to make it last longer.
2. Scrap Use –When cooking, many of us throw out things like carrot tops, celery bases, broccoli stems and more. Never put these food scraps in the garbage disposal or down the kitchen sink. Food scraps cling to pipes causing clogs in your sink and wastewater system. Instead of tossing out food scraps, why not use them? Keep your bits and pieces and add them to soups and stews for extra flavor. You can even make your own vegetable broth for using in other recipes!
3. Fats, Oils and Grease – Fats, oils and grease should never go down the kitchen sink, into the storm drain or into your yard. Pour these byproducts into a heat-safe container and allow to cool. Once cool and solidified, you can dispose of fats, oils and grease safely by placing them in the trash.
4. Composting – For food trash that can’t be used again, like egg shells and banana peels, the compost pile can be a great avenue for disposing of it. Creating your own compost pile is simple and can even be done indoors with the proper equipment. Then you can use the rich soil you create for your organic garden!
5. Package Free – Beyond just the food itself is the packaging. The plastic wrappers, paper, Styrofoam, glass and cardboard that our food comes packaged in all adds up. Try to buy food that has not been packaged, such as loose vegetables. And make sure to bring your reusable shopping bags when you go to the supermarket. Reuse plastic bags or recycle them at your local supermarket. Paper, glass and cardboard are recyclable, so make sure they are recycled, not trashed.
These are just a few of the ways you can reduce your kitchen waste and make a personal impact on the environment. Watch what you toss and see if you can’t find a better place to put it than your trash can.
This post is contributed by Linda Bailey from www.housekeeping.org. She is a Texas-based writer who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more.