5 Tips for a Zero Waste Kitchen
Zero waste refers to a process free of unused materials. Achieving zero waste means adapting conservation measures like recycling, reusing, and producing goods/materials least susceptible to waste. The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in a house where activities matching a manufacturing process occur.
With the buzz of culinary and cleaning up activities in the kitchen, plenty of waste occurs, some inadvertently. For a kitchen to be zero-waste, purposive efforts have to be in place. Adaption of waste-free processes in the kitchen is one of the ways you can lead a zero-waste lifestyle.
Having a waste-free lifestyle means you contribute to the noble cause of environmental conservation. Fortunately, tips are readily available on living such lifestyles and daily habits adaptable to sustain the practice.
What It Means To Go Zero Waste
Zero waste habits may look minute, especially when you need to do mundane tasks like separating compostable and non-compostable garbage, but such efforts matter. Environmental conservation is a subject of global interest that has led to the formation of international bodies to ensure that the sustainability agenda is on course.
It’s important to understand the true meaning of being waste-free. Your actions are preventing waste from ending up in the oceans, landfills, or incinerators. You are contributing to efficiencies of production and consumption in the economy as a conservationist.
Reasons for conserving the environment are many, with no one motive seeming more compelling than the next. Reduction of greenhouse gases emissions, reducing pollution, saving energy, etc., are among the many justifications to avoid waste. The bottom line is the need to make the world a better place for the future.
Degradation of the environment continues at an alarming rate, and the quality of life for the coming generations is at stake. If you wish to change this course and leave a legacy, a zero-waste lifestyle is a great starting point. The minor actions of many individuals cumulatively make a difference.
Living Zero Waste
The kitchen environment presents many opportunities to have a zero-waste lifestyle. In a typical house, the kitchen harbors all the food items in the household in packed and unpacked forms. Most waste in the kitchen arises from food and packaging. The unpacking, cutting, re-packing, storing, and cooking processes lead to unused materials and foodstuffs going to waste.
There are five essential tips you can consider to minimize or eliminate waste in all the kitchen processes:
- Saving Used Cooking Oil
Cooking oil is an essential ingredient in many cooking processes, and reusing it is hazardous. Therefore, many gallons of the commodity goes to waste in the kitchen every day. Used cooking oil is a billion-dollar industry, and many recycling firms collect it to produce biodiesel. Collecting used cooking oil in the kitchen promotes a zero-waste lifestyle and makes you money as well.
- Reusable Bags
Kitchen shopping trips happen frequently and with each detour is a shopping carrier needing disposal. To be waste-free, you can use a reusable bag to avoid this kind of waste. You can often find them for purchase at your local grocery store.
- Compost Leftover Food
Leftover food can be stored in a heap and turn into compost after some time. The compost is valuable manure for the kitchen and flower garden. Some companies will even pick up compost from your home.
- Buying in Bulk
Buying kitchen commodities in bulk will save you money in the long run and enables you to be zero waste. Packaging products in small portions need more quantity of packaging materials than those in bulk.
- Cook Smaller Portions
In many instances, people trash leftover food. To avoid this food waste, strive to cook food portions just enough for meals to avoid leftovers.
The Most Unsustainable Kitchen Habits
Having a waste-free kitchen is not just about things you should do, but also particular actions you should avoid to have a sustainable kitchen. Practices like using plastic, not recycling, trashing cooking waste, etc., are examples of wasteful kitchen habits. There are social, economic, and environmental concerns about unsustainable kitchen practices.
From a social angle, wasteful practices like throwing away food are improper when millions of others go without the essential commodity. Economically, vast amounts of money are lost each year by trashing edible food. The environmental concern is about degradation happening every time hard-to-compost materials find their way to the dumping sites.
Have a Zero Waste Kitchen
It may not be possible to transform a kitchen into a zero-waste room overnight. However, you can start with a few simple acts, and with time it becomes sustainable. Actions like separating garbage into food and non-food items can gradually transition into more impactful acts like solely buying biodegradable cooking implements. The satisfaction that comes with contributing to a sustainable environment motivates you to adapt the waste-free habits and, before you know it, your life transforms into a zero-waste one.