Kitchen & Dining

How to be more sustainable in the kitchen

You and your family might already be pros when it comes to eating organically and sustainably, but do these actions spill over into the kitchen itself?

If you’re wondering how to be more sustainable in the kitchen, there are lots of simple things you can do. Here are a few tips to help you on your journey to an eco-friendly kitchen.

Purchase well-made cookware and utensils

Your best bet is to opt for stainless steel or cast iron when it comes to your pots and pans, as these can last for decades. They may be a bit more expensive, but in the long run you could end up saving money as you won’t have to replace them as often.

Buying a low quality wooden chopping board may seem like a bargain, but if it begins to rot, you don’t want this extra ingredient in your food. The same goes for wooden spoons. Choose a good quality product and you’ll avoid the cost and environmental impact of regular replacement.

Reduce your waste

We throw away more than 900 million tonnes of food every year according to a global report. There are things you can do at home to help reduce this amount:

  • Write a shopping list every week after checking what’s in your fridge and cupboards. Doing this well help you to only buy what you need.
  • Compost your food scraps and put them to use instead of throwing them away. Did you know tea bags can be composted, for example?
  • Is an offer too good to miss out on? Only buy in bulk if you know you can use up everything.

Research your appliances well

Has a kitchen appliance recently given up the ghost and you’re looking for a new one? With so many models available, it can be overwhelming to know which one to pick.

To be more sustainable in the kitchen, check that the energy rating is as high as possible when choosing a new appliance. This rating system is based on the amount of energy your appliance uses compared to the amount of internal space. The best rating is an A+++ energy rating.

You should also make sure that you don’t buy a bigger appliance than you actually need. What’s the point in having the biggest fridge on the market if it’s only ever half full?

Another way to save energy is to unplug appliances when they aren’t being used.

Save energy while cooking and afterwards

Here’s how to reduce the amount of energy used when cooking:

  • Only heat the amount of water you need. Heating more takes extra time and energy.
  • Don’t preheat. Newer oven models heat up so fast that there’s often no need to turn the oven on 10 minutes before you need it anymore – that’s just wasting energy.
  • Boil water in a kettle first, instead of trying to heat up cold water from scratch on the hob.
  • Microwaving small meals reduces energy consumption compared to cooking them on the stove.
  • Putting the lid on pots will ensure less energy is used to boil the water.
  • Opening the oven door to check on your food will make it use more energy to replace the lost heat. Get into the habit of checking on food through the glass door instead.

Once the cooking is done, here’s how to continue keeping energy use to a minimum afterwards:

  • Don’t leave your fridge or freezer door open any longer than you need to.
  • Leave food to cool down completely before placing in the fridge, otherwise the fridge will have to work harder to cool down its contents.
  • Don’t forget to defrost your fridge freezer to improve its efficiency.
  • Ensure there’s a minimum of 10cm between the back of your fridge and the wall. This allows heat to flow more efficiently.

Share your tips on how to be more sustainable in the kitchen

Hopefully these tips have given you lots of ideas for making your kitchen more sustainable. What’s your top tip when it comes to how to be more sustainable in the kitchen?

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