What does it mean to be green at home? The term can refer to a number of different things, but in this article, we will focus on one of its definitions; eco friendly cooking. If you’re looking for ways to go green when cooking and prepare your food without being too wasteful, here are some tips on how to do so.
What does it mean to go green when cooking?
In order to answer this question, we must first take a step back and consider the phrase as a whole: “eco-friendly.” In short, an eco friendly method is one that’s sustainable and doesn’t harm the environment.
While you certainly don’t need to eliminate meat from your diet entirely, eating fewer animal products will decrease your carbon footprint substantially. As such, eating more minimally processed foods like fruits and vegetables instead of high-end meats will lead to a much smaller ecological impact.
Considering such things while cooking can make a big difference to the environment, thus making your cooking more environmentally friendly, and hence creating an understanding of how to go green when cooking.
Cook your food in a way that’s eco friendly
With Christmas day just around the corner, many of us are already preparing for the big feast. When cooking your traditional holiday meals, consider trying out new recipes with ingredients that have been minimally processed and can be found in supermarkets year-round.
Those who celebrate Christmas typically have ham as the main course. Instead of using a whole ham or a large turkey breast, try using a spiral-sliced ham or two medium chickens instead as this will cut down on your overall food usage and result in fewer leftovers which ultimately leads to less wasted food.
Use eco friendly kitchenware
Plastic containers, spoons, tools, and more are all commonplace in kitchens across the world. While this might be okay on some occasions, you can make your cooking greener by making use of eco friendly kitchenware instead of conventional materials like the plastic used for storing food.
Stainless steel containers, glass pots, and pans, clay dishes (like casseroles), and other natural materials are great substitutes for their synthetic counterparts in the kitchen. In addition, it’s also good for your health as there has been evidence that certain synthetic materials may be harmful when they come into contact with acidic food.
Use eco-friendly containers
When cooking, you may be tempted to use a lot of aluminum foil in order to prepare your meals. While this may seem like a practical way to store all that food you’re making, the reality is that using foil will not be good for the environment. Every year, we use thousands of tons of aluminum foil and most of it gets thrown into landfills after one use.
Instead of using aluminum foil, consider switching over to reusable containers and oven bags which can be used multiple times and are easily washed and reused throughout the next few years. The best part about these alternative containers? They’ll last for years without any degradation or wearing down, unlike their disposable counterparts which often get holes and tears even with careful handling.
Buy local produce when possible
Consider purchasing your groceries from local farmers to cut down on transportation emissions which are often not factored into traditional carbon footprint calculations. Not only will this help reduce carbon emissions but it will also help support local businesses and create a sense of community among other shoppers at the market.
Utilize leftovers as ingredients for other dishes
When you make a big meal, it’s common for some food to go unfinished. Instead of throwing away perfectly good food and wasting all that money you spent on buying the ingredients, try using leftover meats in different dishes throughout the week such as soups or sandwiches. Not only will this reduce food wastage but it will also give you more variety when eating leftovers.
Compost any scraps you have leftover from the meal
If you end up with scraps that you can’t use for other meals or as food for your pets, consider composting them instead. Not only is composting an easy and practical way to make sure no food goes to waste and ends up in a landfill, but it also leads to healthier soil and plants.
Compostable materials like fruit peels and the leftover vegetable matter will break down quickly and lead to very rich soil within a few months’ time which means healthier plants that require less water, require fewer pesticides, and need little fertilizer.
However, be sure not to compost meat or poultry as these are not safe for composting.
Use eco friendly paper towels
Cooking requires a lot of cleaning, drying, and wiping, and paper towels are the go-to tool for any kitchen. To make your cooking process even more eco-friendly, use environmentally friendly paper towels which are made with recycled materials or bamboo and can help reduce deforestation.
These paper towels are as absorbent as regular ones when it comes to liquid messes, and they are far better for the environment compared to standard paper towels which are the main cause of deforestation around the globe.
Share this knowledge with friends and family
When trying out the tips above or any others that help reduce your impact on the environment while cooking, be sure to share what you’ve learned with your friends and family so that they too can learn to be more eco-friendly.
Not only will this reduce carbon emissions but it will also help society as a whole by creating a better future for us all.