Earth Day is an annual global event that is celebrated every April 22nd to demonstrate support for environmental protection, but we believe you can, and should, celebrate, Earth Day every day. One of the easiest (and most impactful) ways to go green is by creating a more sustainable kitchen. Here are some cooking, grocery shopping, and lifestyle tips you can apply in your home to help make your cooking practices and kitchens more sustainable.
#1 Banish Plastic and Single-Use Items from the Kitchen
When it comes to baking and cooking, elevate your kitchen utensils from plastic to something more sustainable like bamboo. Do not forget all of those leftover containers either. Instead of repurposing restaurant to-go containers or plastic Tupperware, recycle them and store your delicious leftovers in reusable glassware.
Some other plastic-free ideas include:
- Ditching plastic wrap, like cling wrap and saran wrap, and opting for reusable options like beeswax paper or Stasher bags
- Swapping disposable water bottles for reusable glass or metal bottles
- Trade one-time use paper napkins for cloth napkins
- Upgrading plastic straws for metal or silicone straws
- Using canvas bags and reusable mesh produce bags at the grocery store
#2 Chop and Cut Consciously
Cooking consciously may seem daunting, but it is actually easier than you think. Repurpose food scraps like carrot peels and tops, celery greens, or herb stems and use them in a recipe for a garden-fresh pesto sauce or a homemade bone broth. You can even save peels from fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges and use them for a citrus-infused addition to your favorite cocktails, mocktails, or mugs of tea. Cheers!
If you cannot find anything creative to do with those leftover food scraps, compost them. Anything you do not use in your recipes, place in your garden or kitchen compost pile and let Mother Nature take it from there. If you do not have a compost pile, start one in your backyard garden or create one inside with a nifty little indoor compost jar, many of which are available at your local garden center or online.
#4 Grow Your Own Garden
Eating eco-consciously is extra easy when you farm your own vegetables. Whether you have a backyard garden or a few herbs on your kitchen windowsill, select your favorite fruits and vegetables and channel your green thumb so you can enjoy garden-fresh produce all season long. If you do not have the space to grow your own backyard garden, look into local options like renting a plot at a community garden or researching a CSA.
#5 Hit the Farmer’s Market
If growing a garden is not your thing, then plan a visit to your community farmer’s market. Farmer’s market produce comes to you straight from the source and typically forgoes any extra packaging, so your carbon footprint is smaller on multiple fronts.
A bonus benefit to enjoying fresh, local, seasonal produce is that each purchase supports farmers from (or near) your own community. Not sure where a local farmer’s market is in your town? Check out the USDA National Farmers Market Directory and see what delicious gems you can find.
#6 Make Your Own Nut/Seed Butters and Milk
It may sound daunting, but another way to cut down on plastic packaging is by creating your own homemade versions of popular pantry staples. Items like almond butter, cashew milk, oat milk, and sunflower seed butter are all delicious, but they typically come in plastic so try your hand at some simple recipes to eliminate the extra kitchen waste.
#7 Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
When shopping try to be aware of the type of packaging used and remember to flatten and recycle boxes from cereal, granola bars, and other boxed products. If you are placing online grocery orders, place your orders from one single website so you are only dealing with one delivery box instead of multiple delivery boxes coming in from multiple websites.
Celebrate Earth Day every day of the year by creating a more sustainable kitchen, employing conscious cooking practices, and taking simple steps to living a more mindful lifestyle. Start today by making small changes in your daily life so you can create a better home and a happier, healthier planet. Happy Earth Day everyone!
- Stay Healthy and Happy
Need some new recipe ideas to help support your sustainable cooking? Check out @MBVeganShare where she shares some delicious and nutritious vegan recipes. Do not worry, even if you are not vegan, you will still enjoy these dishes.
Tag us @itsnolasnack so we can see how you celebrate Earth Day every day.