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There’s nothing quite like dishing up a beautifully healthy homemade meal at the end of a long hard day. It provides us with the perfect sustenance we need to flourish and thrive, no matter what world throws at us - and, of course, eating fresh, homemade food also helps the planet, as well, creating far less waste than if everything came out of a packet.
But it’s not just packaging and packets that it’s wise to be mindful of if you are trying to go zero waste in the kitchen.
Food waste is also a big issue, with figures from the Wrap charity showing that households around the UK bin an incredible 4.5 million tonnes of edible food each and every year… but if you put sustainability at the heart of what you make at home, you’re sure to find that your food waste falls dramatically, making you even greener as a result.
The good news from Wrap is that in just three years a reduction in total UK food waste of nearly half a million tonnes was seen, an achievement that has saved the public more than £1 billion per year compared to 2015.
But there is still more to be done to really drive food waste right down - and charity, as they say, begins at home! It could be a fun project to really see how far you can take your ambitions where food waste is concerned… and investing in a compost bin could make a big and immediate difference, especially if you’re as keen a gardener as you are a cook.
Home composting can be hugely beneficial, diverting uncooked fruit and vegetable waste, diverting garden waste and reducing greenhouse gas emissions… as well as providing you with a constant source of compost and soil improver!
Changing the way you view your food scraps can also help you reduce the amount you throw in the bin. Vegetable peelings can be kept, for example, and turned into a delicious puree or soup. Really tasty skins include beetroot, carrot and celeriac.
Bread is something else you can easily avoid wasting. If it’s starting to go stale, simply leave it out to crisp up and then give it a good whizz around in a food processor to make breadcrumbs to put in the freezer, ready for when your next recipe calls for them.
Going zero waste in the kitchen also represents a great opportunity to learn some new skills at the same time. If you’ve got lots of veggies that are a little overripe, what about working out how to do some pickling?
You can basically pickle anything in a combination of vinegar, water and sugar - and, if you’re organised, you could sort out your family Christmas presents well ahead of time if you really get into the fine art of pickled veg, recycling all your glass jars at the same time.
We’d love to hear how you’re going zero waste at home, so get in touch to let us know. And don’t forget to peruse our zero waste shop if you need to stock up on anything.
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