Mar 072012

Changing simple habits in the kitchen can reduce wasteful or toxic practices that cause environmental harm. Here are the Top 4 Ways to Be Environmentally Responsible in the Kitchen courtesy of Real Food Digest;

1. Buy Organic

Organic farming farms in harmony with its ecosystem; farming in season, honoring the animal life of the ecosystem, and maintaining healthy soil.  (But don’t be fooled by labels – many farmers not certified organic have these values and go beyond the requirements of the organic seal – and not all organic farms necessarily live up to this ideal – know your farmer).

Shop the farm booths at local farmer’s markets, take along an iotaSAK to carry your produce home.

2. Reduce Kitchen Waste

Each step of the food cycle from shopping to food preparation to storage has potential for tremendous waste. Think of creative ways to reduce the need for plastic storage bags and disposable food wraps and containers.

  1. Re-use glass containers – jelly, marinara sauce, and coconut oil jars can be used for food storage. Use jelly jars to freeze leftover egg whites and wine for cooking, and larger jars for dried goods like nuts and crackers.
  2. Instead of reaching for plastic wrap or foil to cover food use a plate to cover a bowl. When you do use foil look for recycled aluminum now widely available in supermarkets.
  3. Reuse produce mesh bags and vegetable storage containers.
  4. Compost – kitchen scraps can enrich your soil if properly composted. If you don’t have a compost bin your city may recycle scraps in a green bin. Poggi Bonsi Gifts suggests a RSVP Composting Pail or Rachael Ray Garbage Bowl to collect food scraps for composting.

3. Use non-toxic cleaners

Many cleaning products can contain poisonous and toxic materials– and its not just your health in danger. The production of these materials pollute our air and water that can harm animal life. These toxins get dumped again into our water system when used for cleaning in our homes.

Look for non-toxic alternatives to dish washing soap, oven cleaners, stainless steel sprays, etc. And don’t overlook simple ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda, to act as your go-to cleansers. There are numerous sources online that can teach you how to make your own home cleaning products.

Use eClothCleaning Cloths that clean surfaces using only water.

4. Conserve Water

  1. Make sure none of your faucets are leaking.
  2. Run your dishwasher only when its full.
  3. Instead of pre-rinsing your dishes, use a wet sponge to wipe food residue before loading the dishwasher (then throw the sponge in to the dishwasher to clean and disinfect).
  4. Wash produce in a bowl of water instead of letting the water run.
  5. Don’t let the water run while scrubbing dishes by hand.
  6. Plan ahead and defrost food overnight in the refrigerator instead of running it under cold water.
  7. Limit use to sink disposal units and use a composting pail instead.

About Keli Sim DeRitis

Keli Sim DeRitis is an artist, designer, passionate cook, teacher, and tour guide. Keli founded Poggi Bonsi in 2001 to share her love of European travel, food, wine, and culture. Connect with me on Google+

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