Sustainability is becoming more and more relevant to our everyday lives as we are now beginning to pay attention to environmental, social and economic implications of our consumption habits.
According to the United Nations, there will be over 10 billion living on earth by 2100 which means that demands of supplies and energy will rise, causing potential and unprecedented environmental damage. Changes towards sustainable living are imperative for a greener lifestyle and long-term positive impact on the environment.
We at One Moorgate Place have investigated ways in which you can be more sustainable at home, starting with your kitchen!
Check out our top tips here.
General Waste Materials
It's no surprise that the kitchen produces more waste material than anywhere else in the average house. This is due to several factors, including packaging, wastewater, food waste, plastic bag accumulation from supermarkets, cleaning products and more. We suggest local produce purchasing as they are less likely to have so much packaging as they are more likely to sell unwrapped fresh fruit and vegetables.
Take advantage of the government incentive to reduce bag consumption by buying your own in advance and ensure it’s a sturdy one, so it can carry all your items! If you have any produce which comes in jars or bottles, you can reuse these items. It goes without saying to make use of your recyclable bin accordingly to rid yourself of any unwanted material safely and sustainably.
Composting is a simple and effective way of disposing of food matter. You can request a bin from your local council and place any debris you would usually put in the general bin. Once collected, composted waste is often converted into fertiliser to be used on soil. You could also do the same in your back garden!
Plus, there is less chance of your general waste bin smelling as there is less food rotting in it. This will also reduce your overall general waste as you will be throwing less away!
Did you know that a large amount of water is consumed in your kitchen? After all, this is the main source of drinking water, as well as dishwater and water used for cooking. According to USGS, the average household uses about 8-27 gallons of water by hand washing dishes alone – depending on your faucet type and how much you let your tap run. A top tip would be to wash the dishes in the basin and drain the water afterwards as opposed to letting the tap run continuously. Also, get that dripping tap fixed if you have one, it can accumulate up to 2000 gallons per year if not mended! Or, some suggest to invest in a dishwasher of which newer models use under 6 gallons per wash. Invest in sustainable items to make your life easier and waste free.
Fresh Local Produce
It goes without saying that fresh produce is good for the environment. Firstly, picking up fresh produce ensures that it's at its optimal consumption time in terms of nutritional value. Secondly, acquiring food from a local producer reduces transportation mileage which of course contributes to environmental damage. Therefore you should buy food in accordance to the season – mangos are fantastic in December but hardly sustainable as they have been flown 1000’s of miles away and are likely to have a range of pesticides or preservatives to keep them during transit. Why not support local agriculture by buying from local farmers, grocers or if you live in a city, a farmers market.
Most people have their washing facilities (washing machine, tumble dryer) in their kitchen. Ensure your machine has an energy star system if you're in the US or are ranked well on Europe’s energy label; you can use sites like http://www.toptenuk.org/ to find out about and compare the best energy efficient products for your kitchen. When it comes to cleaning, you can replace sponges and paper towels with dish clothes. Eco-friendly ones are available with bio-degrading properties. Wrapping up your leftovers in clingfilm? Why not try bees wrap, a bee derivative used to wrap a variety of foods which can be washed and reused.
If you have any other tips beyond this article for implementing a more sustainable kitchen, share them with us here and we will feature your ideas.