Zero waste and less waste - what is it ?
The zero waste philosophy is a response to the mountains of garbage piling up in landfills. Proponents of this idea encourage us to minimize the waste we produce every day. The basic tenets of the ideology are to reduce the number of items we need, and to repair or reuse those that are still usable. If the items are completely worn out, they should be recycled or turned into compost, and only as a last resort should they be thrown in the trash.
The less waste movement takes a slightly less restrictive approach to the subject of getting rid of waste from our lives, but it too is about reducing one's negative impact on the environment and producing as little trash as possible. Although the complete elimination of garbage requires profound systemic changes and appropriate infrastructure, members of the zero waste and less waste movements are taking matters into their own hands. The actions you take also make a difference to the planet. Together, in small steps, we can contribute to stopping the avalanche of waste inundating us. And if you're not convinced by the argument of saving nature, maybe you'll be convinced by the vision of taking out the trash less often ;) A few ways to less waste in the kitchen When we take a look at our home garbage garbage cans, we will probably quickly find that most of our waste is created in the kitchen. Food is an absolute necessity for everyone, and can give a great deal of pleasure. It is worth ensuring that our nutrition does not have a disastrous impact on the environment at the same time. Zero waste in your kitchen starts with shopping and doesn't end even after you lick your plate. Let's walk through the entire meal preparation process together to find out what habits you can implement in your own household to stop wasting and throw away less.
Some ways to less waste in the kitchen
When we take a look at our household trash cans, we will probably quickly find that most of our waste is created in the kitchen. Food is an absolute necessity for everyone and can give a great deal of pleasure. It is worth ensuring that our nutrition does not have a disastrous impact on the environment at the same time. Zero waste in your kitchen starts with shopping and doesn't end even after you lick your plate. Let's walk through the entire meal preparation process together to find out what habits you can implement in your own household to stop wasting and throw away less.
1. Meal planning and shopping. Even at the meal planning stage, you can make sure to eliminate some of your kitchen waste. Try to cook with seasonal products. Try to realistically assess how much food you need so that you are not forced to throw away excess. It's a good idea to think about what kind of shopping you plan to do before you leave the house, and bring appropriate containers or reusable bags with you.
2. Local markets. At any market you will find fresh and seasonal produce, often grown locally and harvested shortly before sale. Take along nets for individual produce and a bucket for delicate fruits, such as berries or strawberries. Local makers often offer locally made cheeses, cured meats and eggs at their stands, and sometimes even bread and ready-made baked goods.
3. Buy products sold by weight. Many big-box stores have an entire aisle of "products by weight." There you will often find rice, pasta, beans, nuts and nuts. At the supermarket I visit, I can also buy coffee, tea and candy there.
4. Grow your own garden. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is not easy, but a pot of herbs on the balcony or kitchen windowsill is certainly within your reach. In stores you can buy fresh herbs in a plastic pot and wrapped in foil. Fresh, self-grown greens will add variety to your meals. Start with easy-to-grow basil, oregano, lettuce or spinach.
5. Store food. Learn how to store food to keep it fresh longer. You can read more about this in the article here. If you have any doubts about a particular product, search Google for ways to store it and benefit from the knowledge of more experienced people.
6. Homemade preserves. You can process seasonal fruits and vegetables in many ways. Not everyone has the time or inclination to fry jam and make compotes, but preparing your own frozen foods requires less effort, and also leads to less waste. You can often freeze ready-made dishes or semi-finished products. This is a much better option than watching excess food spoil in the refrigerator. Use reusable containers or silicone pouches.
7. Reuse packaging. Avoiding disposable packaging in practice can be quite difficult at first. If you forget a shopping bag, you can use one of the empty cardboard boxes that are often found on the shelves. A plastic single-use commercial doesn't have to end up in the trash right away. You can use it as a garbage bag and save a few grams of plastic and a few pennies in the process. If you buy baked goods in a paper bag, don't throw it away after one use. You can use such a paper breakfast bag and pack prepared sandwiches in it, for example.
8. Food delivery and eating out. Ordering food for many people can be a huge temptation. Lack of time to prepare a meal and fatigue often push us to use such an option. Food for delivery is often packed in plastic containers, and disposable cutlery and lots of paper napkins are included with the order. If possible, it's better to eat locally, whereas if delivery is the only option for you, indicate in the order note whether cutlery and napkins will be needed.
9. Kitchen cleaning. Commercial detergents usually come in thick plastic packaging. Many of them you don't really need at all. You can make dishwashing liquid yourself from vinegar and lemon peels. Ordinary baking soda works perfectly in the role of cleaning powder. The Internet is full of recipes for homemade, eco-friendly cleaning products. Instead of plastic sponges, use hemp washers or cellulose sponges. They are more durable, can be washed in the washing machine or dishwasher, and can be disposed of in the compost after use.
10. Composting bin. The undisputed king of eliminating kitchen garbage. Self-composting is possible even in a block of flats. Decomposing organic matter should not emit an odor, if the composter is run in the right way. The lockable compost bins available on the market will make this task easier. Most food scraps, cardboard, unbleached paper, leaves, eggshells and many other "garbage" can be disposed of in the composter. The waste thus processed becomes valuable fertilizer, which you can give away to your gardening friends.
Implementing a few of the above habits can make a significant difference in eliminating waste in your kitchen. Start small, with one or two changes, and decide if they work for you and your family. Practicing zero waste can be both eco-friendly and economical. And if you already know something about it, share your ideas for creative use of items, recycling, composting with us and others in your community!
Zero waste 101 ways to live in harmony with nature by Kathryn Kellog