7 Sustainable Changes for a Big Impact
Sustainability means so many different things to different people, you can get lost looking at how to make your impact and what impact that will make – It can be a real mindfield.
Here we compile a list of 7 changes you can make in the kitchen to do our bit for the environment and for a better future.
1.Use Eco-friendly Cleaning Products
Many of the everyday items in our kitchen are made with plastic and other non-biodegradable materials which end up in landfills and are ultimately adding to the rising plastic catastrophe we are all facing.
Everyday cleaning products are usually bought in plastic bottles, used and then replaced. These can be easily swapped for eco-friendly alternatives such as recycled or glass bottles which can be reused and refilled with a large refill (if you have the storage) or many companies are making refill pouches made from recyclable materials.
Great examples for quick changes and to start your eco changes in the kitchen are cleaning bottles, kitchen sponges and brushes and even gloves made from 100% plant based or biodegradable materials.
2. Ditch The Plastic
Start considering simple swaps to reduce your plastic usage, as they say, every little helps!
We have all our collection of gifted branded tote bags, now’s our time to use them (and remember them) reusable shopping bags may just be the start, but every time you refuse the plastic bag, it really does add up and make the difference.
Ok, so we’ve ditched the plastic supermarket bags, what next?
Biodegradable trash bags! Not only can we start to use biodegradable bags in our food caddies, using biodegradable trash bags as our bin liners will degrade into smaller particles over time and tackle the jumbo roll of bin liners under the sink. Don’t be fooled into thinking the bags will break and they are weak, they are stronger than you think!
The next swap is clingfilm, beeswax wrappers which are a reusable and sustainable alternative to single-use plastic wrap. Used to preserve food, it’s also breathable which actually makes food last longer and stay fresher, plus, they tend to come in funky designs to add some jazz to the fridge.
We understand that parties can be a little bit less stressful by using throwaway cutlery and plates to save any washing up. Bamboo cutlery and paper plates can replace single-use plastics, just don’t forget to recycle the replacements.
If you have been through our wonderful portfolio of kitchen photoshoots, you will notice a common theme – Lots and lots of Kilner jars. Designed to reduce the need to buy plastic, reduce the need for foil, wrap and ziplock bags. An investment worth making, plus they look ever so stylish on a Sustainable Kitchen shelf or in a larder.
3. Invest in long-lasting, high-quality cookware
Factors often overlooked are the materials and chemicals used to coat and create cookware, plus the lifespan we expect from our purchases.
Like the fashion industry, don’t opt for cheap pans and crockery that will shatter, wear down and ultimately end up in the bin. We all know the £10 non-stick will ultimately stick! Look for lifetime guarantees and investment pieces.
4. Energy-efficient appliances
How environmentally friendly are your appliances? A lot has changed and evolved in the applianced industry recently, all for the better and mostly, hopefully, for the environment.
Whilst the A+ rating bands were set fairly low, new bands have been released in the past year to increase the specification needed to gain those A+ ratings, so now we can really tell.
Investing in good, energy-efficient appliances will be an investment piece, designed to keep bills down in the long term.
Things to think about; how water-efficient is your dishwasher? What about hobs? Think about swapping that gas hob to induction for a more energy-efficient outcome. The fridge, investing in a good quality fridge not only helps with bills, but keeps food fresher for longer.
5. Energy-efficient cooking
Believe it or not, there’s even ways to be more efficient and sustainable when cooking.
Electric ovens that are powered by electric energy instead of fossil fuels keep meal times more sustainable. If you love your food as much as I do, cooking less might not be an option, but experimenting with raw foods and salads reduces oven time, even one pot meals uses less energy, washing up and water.
Easier fixes can be found by reducing oven time, with newer model ovens there’s little need to preheat for a long period and can even be turned off 5-10 minutes before you have finished cooking and the residual heat will do the rest.
Covering pots and pans to ensure water is boiled quicker will also reduce hob time and boiling the kettle with only the water needed all helps.
And one that’s good for the environment, and potentially our health (recipe dependant) is by batch cooking, cooking a lot at once and storing leftovers for lunches and other meals can save cooking and wrappers from potential meal deals.
6. Buy local ingredients
Choosing locally sourced and produced ingredients not only supports local communities, farmers and growers, shopping locally also reduces the air miles and preservatives needed to get items to you and keep them in an OK state.
Try the local weekend markets with organic products, free from chemical pesticides, fertilisers and plastic! A sustainable change to big supermarkets.
Fruit and veg delivery boxes are readily available in most communities, and usually the produce is much more delicious.
7. Invest in quality kitchen cabinetry
We can’t end without advising to invest in any kitchen remodels. Opting for large, high street companies who ship cabinets from overseas and made from MDF will only need to be replaced down the line.
Opting for a timeless, solid wood kitchen will last you a lifetime. Work with Sustainable Kitchens to develop your dream space, we carefully select our materials with sustainability in mind opting for those that are FSC and PEFC sourced with low VOCs and handpainted to enable you to change it up in a few years time to keep your space looking fresh and you can even paint in a whole other colour should you wish to mix things up!