August 29, 2021 4 min read

One of The Natural Gift Collectives' values is People and Planet first. This week's blog focuses on ‘planet first’. 

Below you will find a list of five things you can do right now to make your kitchen more environmentally sustainable, that doesn’t involve replacing everything you own with ‘eco-friendly’ alternatives. Less is best!

Not only are these things good for the planet, but they will also likely save you money and time, and who doesn't love that.

I’ll tell you now.. They're not the most fun or exciting ideas, but they’re quick, easy, mostly free, and all add up over time. 

 

1. Review your local council’s recycling policy

Told you they weren’t exciting.. Sorry 😂

Recycling can be very confusing. For most of us, we get taught it at school, then maybe get a few pamphlets or signs every now and then, and it’s up to us to make sure we are making good recycling decisions. This is your friendly reminder to brush up on your skills. 

Every council has different recycling schemes.. This is because your rubbish will be taken to your closest sorting facility, which all have different capabilities. Google your local council and check what resources they have available. You may be surprised about some cool initiatives available.. Sydney City Council for example has a trial program for recycling food scraps that you can suggest for your apartment building. 

In the meantime, here are 5 common recycling mistakes to be aware of from Planet Ark.

If you have something you’re unsure about whether it can be recycled, recyclemate.com.aucan help! You can input the item and your postcode into and it will tell you which bin to put it in or provide other options. 

If you can’t recycle it through your council bins, check Terracycle. They recycle the things that are a bit obscure, like toothpaste

 

2. Audit your daily kitchen activities

More or less exciting than reading policies.. You can decide!

There are SO many awesome products out there that are designed for you to lead a more environmentally sustainable life.. You’ve seen them.. Reusable straws, fancy keep-cups, boujee containers with aesthetically pleasing lids ready for Pinterest. But before jumping into buying these, it may be worth doing a check-in of what you’re doing everyday and seeing what changes would actually make a difference for you. 

For example:

  • Are you using a paper filter for coffee everyday, multiple times a day? Maybe a reusable option is worth exploring?
  • Going through paper towels like it's nobody's business? What low-waste options could you swap-in?
  • Going through 1L cartons of almond/soy milk quickly.. Try making your own :)

The idea behind this suggestion is to do what suits you, remembering that we don’t need alllll the latest trends to be living more sustainably, just what we actually use.

 

3. Do a clean-out

If you’re anything like me.. Your pantry can get out of hand pretty quickly. Do a clean-out/organise. You may find things you’ve had forever that are just taking up space. If they are perishable, consider donating them to a foodbank (there are a lot of these on Facebook). If they are perishable.. Stay tuned for tip 5!

Being able to see what you already have means you’re less likely to over-purchase and end up throwing out food. Bring the things that expire first to the front so you can see them and are more likely to consider them when you're planning your meals. 

Storing things properly makes a big difference on food longevity too, so also may be a good opportunity to recycle glass jars/containers that you may usually recycle.

 

4. Consider composting!

These facts from Clear Connections, a Sydney start-up tackling food waste, make a pretty good argument as to why we should all look at getting some form of compost bin going.

  • Rotting food in landfill products methane, which is 21x more potent than CO2 as a GHG
  • 75% of all food sent to landfill comes from our households
  • The average household send approx 4.9kg of foodwastes to landfill each week

There are some awesome resources to learn more about composting, and a lot of different options available depending on your living situation. 

This is a good place to start!

5. Get creative

It can be easy to get into the habit of throwing out food without giving it a second thought. Lucky for us, there are a lot of clever people out there who have so many ideas for reusing food we may otherwise go to throw out. 

Put a sticky note/sticker on your bin/fridge/somewhere that acts as a reminder to take a second thought before throwing something out. 

Think along the lines of:

  • Preserving to make things like jams, pickles etc
  • Freezing ripe fruit to use in smoothies or banana bread
  • Making stocks with leftover vegetables

 

I’d love to hear what other ideas you have.. Leave a comment below!

Thanks so much for reading and Ill speak to you next week :)

Bec x

Rebecca Pink
Rebecca Pink


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