By: Baylee Maust
If your New Year's resolution is to reduce your carbon footprint, you've come to the right place. There are plenty of simple ways you can transform your regular routine to reduce waste and increase energy efficiency.
Packed with many appliances and food, kitchens often create more toxins and waste than we think. Luckily, maintaining a sustainable kitchen in your home can be very easy and fun! Beyond the boring speeches about buying recycled material and reusable containers, there are plenty of other ways to achieve a green kitchen!
- Ditch Single-Use Plastics
According to the Washington Post, studies have predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Although convenient, single-use plastic products are among some of the worst pollutants on the earth.
Step by step, you can work to reduce your own plastic waste. Replacing plastic lunch bags with biodegradable options, investing in metal straws, and toting a cloth reusable bag to the grocery store are all great (and stylish) options to eliminate unnecessary plastic waste.
2. Buy a Water Cooler
Single-use water bottles are the third-largest plastic pollutant in the world’s ocean. On average, a family of four spends $400 per year on single-use plastic water bottles. Buying a water cooler will significantly reduce water bottle costs and plastic waste, allowing you to save the planet and your wallet! Brio Bottleless Coolers are Energy Star approved making them energy-efficient appliances, polished with a stainless steel design; this relieves you from never needing to purchase bulky, plastic refill bottles ever again.
Recommended Product: 400 Series Reverse Osmosis Bottleless Cooler
3. Grow Your Own Produce
Gardening is the perfect activity to fill your spare time and get a delicious reward out of it. Growing your own fruits and veggies is another great way to reduce food waste and live an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Commercial produce is often plagued with pesticides and chemicals to make them last longer on store shelves. During cultivation, these harmful pesticides and pollutants seep into the ground and create contaminated soil. Through gardening, you’ll spend less on groceries, and you can compost food waste that enriches your garden for better-tasting food.
4. Compost Your Food
When you become a pro gardener, you can then learn how to compost your own food. Composting involves taking food scraps and other organic waste and turning it into sustainable material to add to the soil to help plants grow. 30% of compostable goods get thrown away into landfills where they take up space and create toxic chemicals that are detrimental to our planet.
In a small plastic bag or tin, you can combine dead leaves, twigs, grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds. Add water to your mixture to help break down the organic material. From anywhere between two months and two years, when your mixture turns brown and moist, you’ll be able to use it in your garden!
5. Shop Locally
Still not seeing any green on those thumbs? That’s okay. You can still achieve an eco-friendly kitchen without planting your own garden. Shopping locally is a great alternative to ensuring that you’re doing your part to make the world a more sustainable place.
Buying from local farmer’s markets, co-ops, or anywhere else that reduces the distance from farm to table, will greatly decrease the harmful gasses it takes to transport tons of food to corporate grocery stores. Local farmer’s markets are filled with options that will make you eat fresher, healthier, and help you discover new types of food!
When you take small steps to reduce waste and harmful chemicals around the earth, you will be benefiting in more ways than one. Eliminating unnecessary plastics, shopping locally, and planting your own food are all sustainable steps to incorporate in your new environmentally-friendly kitchen that will make you and the earth happy!