Want to make good on your resolutions to get serious about sustainability while keeping the family budget in check, too? The best spot to start is in your kitchen! It's one of the most accessible places in the home to reduce your carbon footprint while making savings to your wallet at the same time.
There's no need for a major lifestyle overhaul-a bit of planning, and a few tweaks to your kitchen habits will go a long way towards improving your environmental street cred in no time. With this in mind, here are our favourite tips and tricks to get you started.
Our number one tip? Get organised!
An organised and well-run kitchen is worth its weight in gold when leading a more sustainable home life while keeping an eye on the pennies.
- Plan your meals! This will lead to you naturally reducing your consumption by buying less and should produce less food waste.
- You'll also end up spending less at the supermarket and will be able to keep a better eye on your spending.
- Shop local, shop seasonal! Shopping local (think Farmer's markets!) supports local businesses while reducing the carbon footprint of your food's journey to your plate. Seasonal goods will almost always be cheaper to both produce and buy. Winner!
We can't say it enough: plan, plan, plan!
Getting organised will go a long way towards this, but you can take it a step further by making the most of the food you buy.
- Leftover veggies? Make a nutritious soup for lunch the next day, or take your leftovers to work for a delicious lunch.
- Make your meals do double-duty; batch cook and freeze what you can. You'd be amazed at what you can successfully freeze; most vegetables can be blanched and frozen to make your next stir fry a breeze. Not only will this save you time and money, but it'll also make a big dent in the amount of food you waste.
- Consider composting food waste and treat your yard to a nutrient-rich food product that will greatly improve your soil quality. For free!
Reducing your food waste will be the most critical thing you can do to make an impact – it dramatically reduces methane emissions from landfills and significantly lowers your carbon footprint.
Find reusable alternatives
Ditch any single-use kitchen products and opt for sturdy, reusable items where you can. The possibilities are endless, but here are a few examples:
- Forget the environmentally-disastrous plastic bags and try our traditional French market basket for your trips to the store- it's tough enough to deal with your shopping over and over (not to mention pretty chic, too!)
- Switch out paper towels and napkins for durable and sustainable linens; most paper towels aren't as kind to the planet as we think. Many of these products have been through the recycling process too many times to be efficiently re-used, and soiled paper towels can end up spoiling an entire batch of recyclable waste.
- Only use as much water as necessary, cover your pans while cooking, turn the heat off the stove a few minutes earlier (your food will continue to cook!), dry your dishes the old fashioned way and check the energy efficiency of your appliances…. it's the little things that count when conserving energy and saving money in the kitchen.
As a brand, we like to think we're at the top of our sustainability game, but we can all do more on an individual level, and change is a continuous process.
Why not give these planet-friendly hacks a try in your home this winter, and see whether it makes a difference to your monthly bills?