7 Easy Green Habits to Adopt While Cooking
Want to reduce waste in the kitchen? Start by adopting these sustainable habits while cooking.
Picture this: You're in your kitchen with a recipe in hand and are ready to whip up a delicious meal. While your focus is likely on getting that dish on the table as quickly as possible, there's something else to consider—the environmental impact of your cooking process.
Every step toward sustainability counts, including those you take in the kitchen. By incorporating sustainability into your cooking routine, you can easily reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier planet.
If you're not sure where to get started, keep reading for practical and actionable habits you can seamlessly integrate into your process.
7 Habits That Make Cooking More Eco-Friendly
1. Compost on the Go
Keep a small compost bin on your kitchen countertop. As you cook, collect food scraps (like fruit and vegetable peels and eggshells) and toss them into your bin instead of the trash. These scraps can be easily composted to create nutrient-rich soil for your garden or houseplants.
2. Use Every Bit of Ingredients
As you prepare your ingredients, make an effort to use every bit. For example, when zesting a lemon, use the juice as well. When chopping vegetables, leave minimal waste. It's amazing how much less you'll throw away when you're mindful of using every part of your ingredients.
3. Reduce Water Waste
Cooking often involves using water, and there are ways to minimize water waste. For instance, use a bowl to wash vegetables and then reuse that water for watering plants.
4. Measure with Precision
While it's tempting to eyeball measurements, precise measuring ensures you use just what you need, reducing excess food waste. This approach is particularly useful when cooking grains, rice, or pasta, where leftovers often go to waste.
5. Use the Lid
When cooking on the stovetop, remember to cover your pots and pans with lids. This traps heat and reduces cooking time, saving energy. It's a small adjustment that adds up over time.
6. Use Reusable Paper Towels
How many paper towels do you use while cooking a single meal? Probably a lot. Reduce your waste by choosing to use either reusable paper towels or a dish towel instead.
7. Plan Stovetop Real Estate
Speaking of the stovetop, if you're preparing multiple dishes simultaneously, plan your real estate efficiently. Use the smallest burner that fits your pan as, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, putting a "six-inch pan on an eight-inch burner will waste over 40 percent of the heat produced by the burner."
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