February 23, 2023 5 min read
Food waste is a significant problem worldwide, and while it occurs at all stages of the food system, including production and distribution, a significant amount of food waste occurs in the kitchen.
Plastic waste is another significant environmental issue found in the kitchen, with single-use containers, bags, packaging and cloths finding their way into landfills and polluting our environment.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can reduce your kitchen waste. Keep reading to find out!
To reduce waste in the kitchen, you can:
The first thing you can do to reduce kitchen waste is to chuck away the single-use products and opt for reusable, recycable products. Some examples include reusable Swedish dishcloths, reusable food wraps, glass containers, glass cups or stainless steel straws.
Did you know that most of the dishcloths we use are made from non-organic or plastic materials (i.e. not biodegradable or recyclable)? This means that after their short life, they are chucked away and sent to landfill.
What’s more, as they slowly decompose, they shed microplastics which ultimately end up in our oceans and waterways. If that wasn’t enough, they are also typically made with nasty chemicals, like petroleum or sulphates, which can be dangerous to not only the environment, but our health.
Instead, you can switch to our compostable Swedish dishcloths, which are a great alternative to single-use synthetic sponges or microfibre cleaning cloths and can be used anywhere around the home. They are made from FSC® certified cellulose and waste cotton, which means they are hygienic, reusable and fully biodegradable. An incredible, eco-friendly alternative to the traditional synthetic kitchen sponge or microfiber cleaning cloth.
Another non-biodegradable kitchen product is cling film (also known as plastic wrap or cling wrap), which, although is a convenient way to wrap and store food, it is detrimental for the environment as it can create a significant amount of waste.
A great alternative is wax food wraps - they are durable, reusable and completely plastic-free. They are also more cost-effective in the long run as they can last a very long time and will biodegrade when their useful life has ended.
Our reusable food wraps are fully sustainable and reusable, free of toxic chemicals and made with 100% GOTS certified natural cotton, organic dyes and beeswax. You can even use our beeswax food wraps in the freezer if you want to preserve the food for a later date.
Another super effective way to reduce waste in the kitchen is to plan your meals in advance. Now, we know it’s easier said than done, but planning at least 3 or 4 meals each week will not only ensure you have a healthy diet, but will also prevent you from buying too much food, which typically ends up as waste.
By planning meals in advance, you can also rotate the food in your cupboard, fridge, and freezer. This means that you're more aware of the food that you have on hand, and you're more likely to use it before it goes off.
Lastly, try coordinating your meals so you aren't using totally different ingredients for every recipe.
Composting food scraps or leftovers is a great way to turn waste into nutrient-rich soil. Typically, when food waste is put into a normal bin and sent to a landfill, it breaks down and releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. However, if you choose to compost this waste, it is diverted from the landfill and turned into a valuable resource for our gardens and plants.
Not only does composting therefore help to reduce the environmental impact of waste disposal by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, it also helps to improve soil structure, retain moisture, and reduce the need for synthetic fertilisers.
Although not everyone can facilitate an outdoor composting system, there is a wide range of composting options available, such as countertop bins. While an outdoor compost bin creates fertiliser for your garden, a countertop alternative makes food for your herb pots for houseplants.
An alternative option to composting leftovers is to instead, use them to create new meals, or if you don't think you’ll be able to eat within three days, pop them in the freezer for future use.
There are countless ways to use food leftovers or scraps that may not be fresh. One of the most popular and simplest things you can do is turning your leftover vegetables into soup stock. One of the best things about soup is you can make it out of pretty much anything, as long as it hasn’t gone completely off.
Soft apples or blueberries work perfectly cooked in oatmeal, and squishy bananas are great in a banana bread. You can even use stale bread to make croutons for your soup.
So, not only does using leftovers allow you to consume food that might otherwise go to waste, but it can also help you develop your creative cooking skills and learn new recipes. It’s a win win!
If you need a little bit of inspiration, here are 25 tasty ways you can get creative with leftovers.
Last but certainly not least, it’s worth considering growing your own fruit and vegetables (if you have the space, of course).
Even if you don’t necessarily have a green thumb, there are a lot of easy things you can grow at home to reduce the amount of plastic packaging brought home from the supermarket. Herbs such as basil, parsley and thyme, for example, are pretty easy to grow outside, are low maintenance, and don’t take up much space. Tomatoes are another popular choice for home gardeners as they're easy to grow and produce a high yield. Strawberries are a tasty fruit that are relatively easy to grow at home, and can be grown in containers or in the ground.
Wild & Stone's mission is to create stylish, easy to adopt and usable alternatives to common plastic products around the home. We source all our products sustainably, from raw material to final delivery. Shop our other health and beauty products on our website.
Share your plastic-free swaps with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on Instagram #wildandstone.
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