Is your kitchen green? No, I am not referring to its color. I am talking about the ways on how you keep your kitchen clean and environment-friendly. To have a green kitchen, all the procedures done inside the very spot should not compromise with the environment’s health. In other words, chemical-made kitchen cleaning products are a no-no as well as ingredients with preservatives and other chemical substances. These are harmful both to the environment and to your health. Given the extensive awareness programs on the advantages of eco-friendliness, I believe you already have a basic idea on what’s being green is all about. Today, let’s talk about one aspect of having a green kitchen, and that’s how to keep kitchen wastes as low as possible.
One of the basic ways to make sure that kitchen wastes are to the minimum level, see to it that wastes for disposal are all garbage. Some of us just stuff any unused items into the garbage bin without realizing that these items could still be repurposed or reused. For example, drinking glasses with cracked parts and empty cans can be used as pots for seedlings. You can also put egg shells to plants’ surrounding soil since these contain certain compounds that promote plant growth. Other things to consider are food scraps or fruit and vegetable skins. You can boil these in a bit and use them to feed backyard pigs. Aside from that, food scraps can be used as compost while grey water can be tossed to the garden. I bet you’ll have any of these items in your kitchen garbage bin each day. Start collecting for these items and repurpose them to keep kitchen wastes as low as possible.
There are certain foods and vegetables that don’t need peeling. Peels are undoubtedly one of the largest compositions of kitchen wastes and in order to minimize it, know when to peel. If you’re having your own organic vegetable garden or local organic market, you can skip the peeling method in almost all of your veggies and fruits, but if you’re buying from a local, inorganic market, make sure to peel these goods. Produce that don’t need peeling include citrus fruits, apples, grapes, guava, berries, apple, almonds, pears, peaches, kiwi, banana, and kumquat. Veggies that can be eaten with the peel on are potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, and celery. On the one hand, allow me to provide you with some tips on how to make these goods’ skins more appealing to the taste buds. You can have fried potato skins, slightly boiled carrot peels in your chicken sandwich, grated lemon peel mixed in dips, or dried and then mixed in sauces. Most peels of citrus fruits can be candied as well. Meanwhile, leftover peels can be used to clean several kitchen equipment such as lemon peels to clean tea kettle; remove greasy messes; and reduce bad odor. They can also be used as stock to boost soup and marinated recipes or use them for beauty recipes. You can toss peels that aren’t edible into the compost pit, and your plants will thank you for it.
Another reason that kitchen wastes are piling is the improper amount of ingredients. When you are planning to cook for a particular recipe or whip just about anything that you think of creating, make sure that you only buy what’s needed. Check your pantry for any leftover ingredients and utilize them first before running to the grocery to buy new ingredients. If you are inventing a recipe or wanting to make a new one, you might want to check for resources first. Having a good list of the recipe’s important ingredients greatly minimizes possible leftovers. Conversely, if you are thinking of creating the same recipe couple of times a week, buy its ingredients in bulk to save money and energy.
Kitchen wastes aren’t only limited to leftovers and garbage, but also to energy. Cover kettles and pans when boiling water or heating oil to avoid heat from escaping. Studies show that microwave ovens use up about 50% lesser energy than traditional ovens, so opt for this cooking equipment instead. You could also opt for slow cookers or small convection oven. For other kitchen cooking utensils, use non-BPA and non-plastic materials only to avoid toxic chemicals from getting into your food.
Cooking right is another way to minimize kitchen wastes. Certain foods such as noodles, corn ears, veggies, cheese and the likes can be cooked even when the stove is turned OFF so long as the water is boiling. Vegetables are actually more nourishing when eaten raw, so make sure that they’re not overcooked by tossing them into the pan after the stove has been turned OFF. Cooking smartly means cooking green.
Indeed, keeping kitchen wastes as low as possible is not easy. It takes awhile and it takes time to repurpose the stuffs in the bin, but it is definitely worth it.