We’re living in an age where we are all encouraged to think more carefully about the effects we all have on the world around us. And why not? So in this article we look at 10 tips to make your kitchen environmentally friendly.
We need to make the most of the wonderful planet we have while it’s here. Unfortunately, we have grown so accustomed to consuming single use plastics and wasting food that many of us perhaps don’t realise quite how much of an impact we are having. Even small amounts of waste can really impact hard on the environment.
That’s why so many people look to hit the ground running with an eco-friendly kitchen. An environmentally friendly kitchen is one which is smart about cleaning products, tough on waste, and which is replete with the best products and food boosting resources money can buy. That’s not to say that keeping an eco-friendly kitchen is expensive! It’s surprising what you can do to cut down on your footprint, and as such, we’ve put together a complete guide on everything you can do to get started right now.
Want to end a day of kitchen habits knowing you’ve made a real difference to the world around you? Want to cut down on energy expenditure, and to invest in products which aren’t going to leak back into the world around us? Make sure to take a look through our list of tips below. No matter what you may have used or made in the past, it is never too late to strike out and make a change or two. Going eco-friendly is easy – and here are 10 tips to prove it.
10 Tips to Make Your Kitchen Environmentally Friendly
#1.Invest in a Compost Bin
If you do find that you have a lot of food waste left over that you normally need to throw into your everyday bin, it’s a great idea to invest in a composting bin instead.
This doesn’t even have to be anything too fancy. Simply invest in a small pot or designated food bin where you can throw fruit skins and food waste which would otherwise be destined for landfill. You can then use the food you’ve cast into the bin on your garden. Anything that is fit to decompose can be used to grow new life – you’re giving everything back to the Earth!
#2. Be Smart on Kitchen Appliances
One of the best ways you can help the environment is to focus on how much energy your kitchen appliances are expending. You can easily see how efficient white goods are, from fridges to cookers and everything in between, by taking a look at their energy ratings on the famous energy scale.
Anything rated ‘A’ is likely to be super efficient. This means it won’t just cut back on energy spent, but will also save you money in the long run, too.
This isn’t to say that anything rated ‘B’ isn’t worth having. You’ll rarely find kitchen products nowadays which fall beneath a ‘C’ rating. However, you should also take care to switch off your appliances when not in use. This is perhaps the best way to cut down on the energy you use from day to day.
#3. Think Carefully About Gas vs Electric
There seems to be split opinion on whether or not gas or electric is likely to be the best option for an environment friendly kitchen.
The fact is, electric cookers tend to offer more efficient heating if you invest in induction hobs, as they will get to work right away. The same can be said of gas cookers. Ultimately, if you do want to save money and energy, you’re likely going to need to look for a modern system that either runs on dual fuel, or which avoids old-style electric cooking altogether. This can sometimes be really wasteful!
As there is such a split on this, we’d be willing to suggest that you look carefully at your bills. The more expensive your energy bills are, the more you are pumping back into the atmosphere. Therefore, be sure to consider your daily needs and to make a switch that’s practical and cost-effective, as well as helpful to the world around you.
If you’re a coffee fiend, it’s likely you’ll find you generate plenty of rubbish from your morning brews. For example, if you use a pod machine or Nespresso, you are likely going to have plenty of pods that you need to throw out week on week.
The same goes for if you use filters. Why not do away with wasteful coffee products altogether? You could switch to a French press, which doesn’t use any inserts or wasteful products. You simply compost the remaining granules once you’re done. What’s more, you might even think about investing in eco pods or capsules if you really can’t bear to be without your Nespresso.
It’s surprising how much of your food waste comes from coffee – trust us on this! The same goes for tea, to some extent. Therefore, it may be worth generally looking to swap out tea and coffee which wastes paper, plastic or foil in any shape or form. It’s easier to do than you might think.
#5. Avoid Paper and Plastic Plates
It’s tempting to avoid doing any form of washing up by switching to disposable plates and cutlery, but these are just going to create even more waste for you in the short and long term. Therefore, while you may think you’re doing the planet a favour by recycling paper plates, you can do even more good by just putting on the old marigolds and scrubbing those dishes instead!
While it may seem as though you are making use of an eco-friendly kitchen by recycling paper products, you’re only adding to the stresses and strains of a recycling plant. If you can avoid throwing anything away at all, that will be an enormous bonus.
So – don’t be afraid to invest in a bamboo scrubbing brush and eco-friendly washing up liquid and get those pots, pans and cutlery looking sparkling and fresh in no time. We all have to do it occasionally!
#6. Switch Up Your Cleaning Routine
Yes – it might seem like the worst idea on the planet if you have a set regime when it comes to cleaning your kitchen, but plenty of the products and sprays which people use to clean their cookers, countertops and fridges are actually going to be causing serious detriment to the environment. Think about all the chemicals you’ll find in the average sprays that you use.
Yes – there are brands out there which offer a more eco-friendly approach to cleaning, but the best thing you can do is ditch the chemicals altogether. Not only will you be cutting back on single use plastics, you’ll be getting rid of anything harmful and chemically that’s likely to be pumping back into the atmosphere. Surely that’s something you’re going to want to avoid!
We’re huge fans of baking soda, as you will clearly see from other guides we’ve published on How to Clean Your Kitchen. Baking soda and certain types of vinegar are just as good – if not better – at cleaning hard to scrub facilities such as greasy ovens and cookers. All you need to do is use a little bit of each – why not save yourself some money as well as protect the planet and brew up your own environment safe kitchen cleaning solution?
#7. Buy In Bulk
Bulk buying is more commonplace now than ever before. Some people might think it to be a bit of a panicky manoeuvre, but when you actually think about it, the more food or products you buy in bulk now, the less plastic you’ll waste in time to come.
Think about investing in bulk food items such as rice and cereal, for example. It makes sense to buy food which is unlikely to go off in the short term, which you can buy in big boxes and bags. It makes more sense to buy a huge 1kg box of corn flakes than to continually buy the same 300g packet week after week. This is one of our favourite top 10 tips as it will actively save you stacks of money in the long run, too. It could make the difference of £10 or £20 off your monthly shop – if you’re shrewd about it.
Think also about buying freezable items. Investing in a big freezer is a brilliant idea if you have a big family to feed.
#8. Go Home Made
Even better, what you can do is focus on making and cooking from scratch. Yes, it’s convenient and quick to buy store-bought and to cook straight out of a packet, but it’s likely to be more cost-effective, and kinder on the environment, if you focus on making your own recipes and meals with natural produce instead. For example, you could save yourself serious time and serious waste by putting vegetables to great use.
Why not cook stews and soups in batch? You could, as mentioned above, freeze or store meals in the fridge. This means that you’re depending less and less on wasteful plastic and card, and what’s more, you’ll actually find you have made more time to enjoy the food you’ve used, rather than throw a lot of it out at the end of the week. You’ll also cut down on packaging, too.
This can be a little tricky to get into to begin with if you’re not used to batch cooking. However, it’s going to be a superb way for you to transform the way you run your kitchen.
#9. Just Eat Leftovers!
Yes – leftovers do sometimes get a bad rap depending on what it is you’ve cooked the night before. However, there are plenty of things you can keep sealed and enjoy again the day after. It’s worth taking a look online to see which dishes and produce are likely to keep for several days at a time. On the same note, do always make sure that you pay attention to use by dates – as if something tells you it’s ‘best before’, it is still very likely to be perfectly healthy and tasty to eat for a few days afterwards.
Eating leftover food saves you money, saves energy, and will actively help to protect the environment. It’s a win-win. Keep this in line with our points about batch cooking, too, and you’ll likely find that you start to set up an environmentally focused kitchen in no time.
Leftovers may not always be exciting, but the more you get into them, the more the environment will thank you. You’ll also save yourself stacks of money in the bargain, too.
#10. Go Biodegradable
One thing you can do outside of changing your everyday kitchen habits is, of course, to change up some of the products you’re using. As mentioned, you should think carefully about using any chemical sprays or cleaners. However, are you using traditional bin bags and liners?
You can invest in liners and bags which are biodegradable. Biodegradable kitchen products will – as their names suggest – gradually break down instead of adding to landfill. If there’s anything we may have learned over the years, it’s that single use plastics are choking our waters and are helping to break down the world around us. Therefore, think smart about changing up a few of your everyday items.
This doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money or energy. For example, you could switch out stainless steel cutlery for wooden utensils. Or, you could invest in bamboo washing up products, which will replace wasteful sponges and scrubbers that you’d normally buy time and again from the supermarket.
Why is an Eco-Friendly Kitchen Important?
Being conscious of our impacts on the world around us isn’t just going to preserve the planet for future generations, it’s also going to improve the quality of life for all of us, as well as animals and their various habitats.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure you are hot on food and energy waste. No matter the strides you have already made, there may still be things you can do to be kinder to the planet. Think about the products you’ve used over the years which are made from unnecessary plastic. Are you wasting energy on not turning appliances off? Could you make a big difference by moving from stainless steel to wood?