A Guide to Going Zero-Waste in Your Kitchen

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Nowadays, people resort to the culinary arts to discover new dishes and to keep themselves preoccupied while COVID-19 still looms in the outside world. While cooking various dishes sustains your hunger and taste for unique flavors, the food waste from preparing and cooking isn’t exactly sustainable for the planet.

With both plastic and food waste being problems for the environment and the economy, you might want to consider being more efficient in your cooking. Reduce as much waste as possible. Here is a guide on how you can practice zero-waste, not just in your cooking process, but in your home in general. 

Shop at Local Markets

Shop at your nearest local wet and dry markets as much as possible. Not only are the goods there cheaper and fresh, but they are “naked” and you don’t have to bring home any packaging that you will most likely throw away.

You also get to reuse your eco and washable bags whenever you buy vegetables, fruits, and other dry goods from local markets, a trend highlighted by Believe.Earth. Take newspapers or reusable containers to hold meat, fish, and seafood. Don’t forget to bring your egg carton trays to safely carry eggs.

Buy Only What You Can Consume

If you live alone, consider shopping for what you can only consume in a month. You may think that shopping in bulk is best to avoid the hassle of going out and spending more. While that may be true, shopping in bulk for yourself may mean there will be food left in your shelves to expire or take up space in your fridge. Hence, you will throw untouched food and waste money in buying items you aren’t sure you will eat or consume before it expires.

Shopping for what you can only consume will not only save you money and space in your kitchen, but it will also reduce the waste that will lead to the landfills and the ocean. Doing so will also help to preserve and protect the greenery and wildlife, an advocate that is supported by developments such as Pico de Loro and Anvaya Cove. You’re saving the turtles and the birds by not contributing to landfill waste. 

Go for Glass and Reusable Plastic Containers

When shopping in supermarkets, consider buying condiments, preservatives, and other food items in glass or reusable containers instead of sachets and tetra packs. Buying bigger quantities will save you the hassle of going back to the market to restock, while constantly throwing away packaging and food wraps. Likewise, the glass and reusable containers can be used to keep condiments, leftovers, and powdered goods dry and safely sealed.

Cook All Edible Parts

Most of the time, you throw away the stalks, tops, and bottoms of the vegetables that you cook. The same goes for meat and fish–bones and fatty parts go to the trash. Instead of throwing these out, why not cook them instead?

Stalks, stems, peels, and leaves can be chopped up, sauteed, or added into soup. You may also put clean meat and fish bones and fat into a pot and create stock for soups and other dishes. Deep fry your potato peels and season them with salt to make a healthier version of French fries or potato chips. Craving for a burger with fewer calories and cholesterol? Chop up the peels, roots, and stems and make a vegetable patty burger.

The idea is to use every part of your veggies because these still have nutritional value and add flavor to your cooking. 

Puree, Brew, or Juice Fruit Peels 

Peels, stalks, tops, and bottoms of fruits and vegetables can also be pureed as jam or sauces for certain dishes. You may also brew some fruit peelings such as orange, lemon, and apples into tea or as syrup.

If you hate eating veggies, make vegetable smoothies and pureed juices along with the stalks, roots, peel, and leaves. Not only do you get delicious and healthy drinks, but you also get the most of your money by using all parts instead of throwing them away.  

Plant, Don’t Throw

There are some parts of your veggies and fruits that may not be palatable or edible, such as the seeds. But instead of throwing them away, plant them in your home garden to create a sustainable source of organic vegetables and fruits.

Use Inedible Parts as Compost

Other inedible parts such as certain fruit peels, eggshells, used coffee grounds from saeco espresso machine with the help of saeco espresso machine reviews, and tea leaves may be used as organic compost in your garden. If you live in a smaller space where your plants are limited to flower pots and containers, use these as organic mulch to protect your plants from mold and fungus, keep weeds from growing, and to keep the topsoil moist and fertile.

Make Natural Home Cleaning Products

Looking for safer alternatives to chemical cleaning products? Convert your vegetable and fruit peelings and organic waste into natural cleansers. Boil down apple cores and peels and mix it with vinegar to make a natural window cleaner. Got some used-up lemons and oranges from your infused water? Use the remaining rind as a non-abrasive scrub for washing pots and pans.

It may seem impossible to have zero waste when shopping for and preparing food. But when you consider how plastic and manufactured packaging greatly impact the welfare of the environment, you might think twice about bringing them home then throwing them away. With patience and a few changes to the way you shop and cook, you will gradually reduce the waste  in your kitchen and at home.