If you’ve mastered waste-free cooking, the question now is: are you ready to go the extra mile and go “zero waste” in your kitchen?
Food waste aside, kitchen packaging negatively impacts the environment. By recycling plastic, metallic, glass and paper packages we can reduce trash inundating our landfills. Furthermore, we can conserve the energy and natural resources in turn preventing pollution generated by using raw materials to create new products.
Recycling as many packages as possible is frankly not the same for our planet as not using them at all. The goal of zero waste is much broader than recycling, aiming to reduce or eliminate waste at the source rather than “deal with it later”. Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary. It encourages people to change their lifestyle and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Implementing zero waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.
Going zero waste cannot happen overnight, especially at societal level. With today’s post, we want to help you adapt to zero-waste living and be the change you want to see in the world. As nutritionists, we will set the starting line of this “race to a healthier planet” in the kitchen. So where shall we start?
1.Store food in glass or stainless steel instead of plastic. Organise your kitchen containers once, buy what you need to store different goods and stop using single-use products. Reusing glass jars from store-bought items for storage is also a good idea. You can even find kits to cover half eaten fruits and vegetables instead of single use plastic or aluminum foil.
2.Make your own! You won’t need to buy these products that generally come in packages if you can make them at home using long-term usage containers to store them. Just be wary of how to store them:
- NUT BUTTER. It’s super easy – all you need are nuts/seeds and a food processor.
- SALAD DRESSING. Grab a simple formula for a great salad dressing.
- CONDIMENTS. Pickles, ketchup, mustard, mayo and more can be homemade – here’s the way to make 12 popular condiments so you’ll never need to buy them again.
- BASIC STAPLES. Bread, crackers and other commonly packaged foods are so simple to make!
3.Take your own shopping bags to the grocery store. Skip the plastic and carry reusable shopping bags for your purchases, and smaller reusable bags or nets for produce and dried goods. Make sure the material is easy to wash and long-lasting.
4.Search for grocery stores in your area that use sustainable packaging or are considered “bulk, package” stores. This is a store you should definitely visit if you live in Zurich.
5.Use a travel mug. Perfect for taking herbal teas or coffee from home when you’re on the go. Even for store bought beverages ask the staff to pour them in your own mug or thermos and avoid plastic and paper cup waste.
6.When eating out, take containers along. If you can’t eat the whole portion you can bring your leftovers home but avoid the single-use containers restaurants might provide.
Reducing overall waste may seem overwhelming or challenging at first, but remember that every single effort counts. Your decision to change could inspire the ones around you to also use these tips on a regular basis. Also, do not overlook the additional benefit some of these tips could have on your diet’s quality and therefore your health. You could even benefit financially!
Today is the day to start. Don’t aim for perfection, just start with one of the suggestions and try to incorporate more of them gradually in your everyday tactics. Start the “race to a healthier planet” in the kitchen.