4 ways to stock your kitchen with sustainability in mind

The kitchen is the heart of the house but it is also the source of a lot of household waste. From plastic wraps to potato peels, there are still ways to reuse, reduce and find more sustainable ways to store our kitchens.

An easy way to start storing your kitchen more sustainably is to look at the types of waste you regularly produce and establish a system for each. Next, we’ll explain how to organize the different types of trash that accumulate in the kitchen — like food scraps, plastic, and paper scraps — and also create structure around the storage.

food waste

If you don’t have a composting system, storing vegetable skins and stems in the freezer to make a big pot of soup is one way to cut down on food scraps that end up in the trash. All you need are leftover vegetables, hot water and bay leaves and bring them to a boil. You can store this vegetable broth in the freezer for months, ready to use for any of your soups.

Related Reading: Yes, it is possible to compost if you live in an apartment – Here’s how
Related Reading: From Root to Fruit, Here’s How to Grow Vegetables From Food Scraps (Yes Really)

We are all guilty of rediscovering forgotten products that seem a little less worn in the deep recesses of our refrigerator. OzHarvest reports that 70% of food thrown away by households in Australia is edible but simply forgotten. To avoid these cases, you can prepare meal plans before going to the supermarket or consider getting labels such as “use me first” or “eat me soon” which can act as tangible reminders and visible foods that need to be eaten soon.

If there is a small bruise on a piece of product, consider cutting that portion off rather than throwing it away and using it in versatile dishes like soups and pickles, or as a pizza topping, so it is not wasted.

Packaging waste

Australians throw away around 1.9 million tonnes of packaging every year in the form of packaging for vegetables, fruits, household appliances, clothing and everyday objects. Almost everything ordered from an online marketplace is at least once wrapped in bubble wrap and sometimes also in a box before it reaches us.

Instead of looking to get new trash bags, consider using existing wrappers to line your trash can. It can range from something as large and sturdy as a sack of rice to a polyester bag used to deliver your new clothes. Giving new life to these packaging bags helps expand their usefulness and keep single-use plastic from ending up in our landfills.

Depending on the number of people in your household and the amount of waste generated, you might have enough existing bags to last a few months.

Pantry Staples

How many times have you used disposable paper towels to clean a surface or store a spill? We all have. They’re convenient and do the job well, but they also end up in our trash cans. Instead of relying on paper towels and paper towels, try switching to reusable cloths. A simple way to kick-start this habit in the kitchen and laundry, cut up old cotton t-shirts into small squares and use them instead of paper towels.

Extend the same logic to zipper bags, plastic wrap and single-use plastic containers. Instead of single-use plastic containers, you can opt for glass or metal containers. Instead of plastic wrap, you can use saucer plates to cover your bowls or pot lids to cover large platters. If you’re looking for a more permanent option, consider investing in beeswax wraps or eco-friendly food wraps.

Party items

Entertaining friends and family always leads to the use of single-use plastic, as we all want to save on washing and cleaning afterwards. It’s completely normal, we hear you. In fact, we are you.

However, you could get your friends and family involved in environmental action by encouraging the use of metal or bamboo straws, utensils, plates and bowls at parties. Starting this conversation would also be a great icebreaker and a way to inspire more people to make positive changes, together.

If you find that some people are resisting this change, you can opt for biodegradable utensils and tableware made from a mix of edible and organic materials (available in most supermarkets these days).

At the heart of sustainability is the attempt to try to be better for ourselves and for the planet. Try to start this effort in the kitchen, the gathering place and the eating place, then notice how this effort carries over to the rest of your life.

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Any representations, views or opinions contained in this article are those of The Latch and do not reflect those of Suncorp Bank and are not endorsed by it.

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