Looking for ways to be more mindful at home? In this article Hayley Baddiley, Global Marketing Director of Denby Pottery shares her tips for giving kitchens an eco-friendly upgrade.
Everyone’s trying to do their bit for the planet, whether that’s going vegan or swapping old traditional home decor for eco-friendly products and interiors. The vast majority of shoppers in the UK admit they are looking for ways to embrace the sustainability revolution, but how can you turn your kitchen into a more eco-conscious space?
From perishable goods to food packaging, kitchen spaces produce vast volumes of avoidable waste. Below Denby Pottery eco-expert shares her top tips on how to reduce that waste and help create more eco friendly kitchen spaces in 2020.
Reduce food waste
Food waste can be very frustrating, particularly if you do a lot of home cooking. Ingredients you bought together can often go out of date at different times, leaving leftovers past their best and food pushed to the back of the fridge or cupboard to be forgotten about — all of this produce eventually ends up in the bin, which is not only wasteful but will add to household domestic bills as well.
With a bit of organisation, this wasteful cycle be stopped.
You could try batch cooking, which uses up all your ingredients at once, and then freezing the portions for later. You could even keep a ‘best before’ diary or calendar in your kitchen, so you know what needs eating when. And, organising your food storage with crates or tidies, so you always know exactly where everything is to avoid you leaving something unused past its expiry date.
Cut down on plastics
Plastic can be found all over your kitchen, but especially in the form of food packaging and storage containers.
Cling film, for example, is a common household plastic that a lot of people forget about, so replace it with beeswax wraps instead to cut out any more unnecessary plastic. These are made from natural ingredients, and you can use them to cover a bowl or plate to keep your leftovers fresh.
Plastic packaging is a little bit trickier to avoid, but there are a few tricks you can use to cut down the amount you have to throw away.
In the supermarket, choose loose fruits and vegetables over those that are individually wrapped and try to buy heads of lettuce rather than bagged salads. Don’t forget to bring your reusable shopping bag. You can also buy dry foods and ingredients from zero-waste shops that allow you bring in and fill your own containers to cut down on packaging.
Buy kitchenware that lasts
Like clothing, homewares can be part of ‘fast fashion’ or ‘slow fashion’.
Fast interiors are usually produced cheaply and quickly as part of a fleeting trend, and they aren’t built to last. Slow homewares embrace longevity by producing higher quality pieces that you don’t have to replace as often.
So, if you want your kitchenware to stand the test of time, try looking for more timeless and versatile options that are less likely to break or go out of style.
If you can, look for kitchen pieces that come with a guarantee so you can be assured of their quality. I would also suggest sourcing products that are handcrafted rather than mass produced and made in the UK rather than imported, as they are often better for the environment. Eco-friendly products are now commonly labelled, and more and more companies are boasting their eco-credentials.
It’s never been easier to make conscious decisions when choosing items for your kitchen.
Look for sustainable materials
When furniture and décor hunting, keep an eye out for sustainable materials such as reclaimed timber, birch plywood and recycled glass. These are made from items that would otherwise have been sent to landfill or incinerated.
Try researching which are the most efficient appliances and to switch to energy efficient lightbulbs, such as LEDs, to create a much more sustainable and friendly kitchen.
Instead of buying new furniture, stainless steel and solid wood can easily be upcycled with just a fresh paint finish. Just remember to use water-based paints where possible, as they are usually less harmful to the environment.