THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO A CLEANER, GREENER KITCHEN
Taking inspiration from our recent post on Lagom, the Scandi lifestyle trend that looks to create balance between functionality and sustainability in the home, we’re put the kitchen under the microscope!
The kitchen is the area of the home that’s associated with generating the most waste, and whether you’ve already got your dream kitchen, or you’re thinking about an upgrade, we cover the big things and the little things you can do to have a greener and cleaner kitchen in 2017.
C O O K I N G … From how you shop and where you shop, to how you cook and what you cook; you can save energy, money and reduce waste by taking a few things into consideration.
OVEN…if you’re designing a new kitchen or are in need of an oven upgrade, electric induction hobs and fan forced ovens with triple glazing are by far the most energy efficient choice. To avoid wasting energy in the cooking process make sure your oven is clean so that heat energy is being utilised efficiently, check the seals on the door aren’t letting heat escape, don’t open the door unless you need to, and unless you’re baking, don’t worry about pre-heating the oven.
POTS & PANS...considering the type of pots and pans you invest in can make a real difference when it comes to saving energy and avoiding waste. Cast-iron, aluminium and copper pans are the best heat conductors, with cast-iron cookware being extremely energy efficient, they heat slowly and evenly and keep food hot for longer. Plus cast-iron lasts pretty much forever, which means a lifetime of cast-iron cooking delight, and less cooking apparatus ending up in landfill.
PRESSURE COOKING…cook your dinner in half the time, and save money and energy with a pressure cooker. In our modern lives pressure cooking is, if nothing else, convenient! Most pressure cookers cook a meal in half the time, leaving you time to do the things you love with the ones you love, plus pressure cooking keeps steam and heat locked in the cooker, keeping your summer-time kitchen cool1!
MATT STONE…cook amazing food through sustainable means! Our clean-kitchen ambassador, the Natural Cook, makes use of seasonal, local ingredients and focuses on reducing waste and removing chemicals completely from the cooking process! The choices you make when choosing your ingredients has a big impact on the environment, especially when it comes to meat. Buying local, choosing organic and grass-fed as opposed to grain-fed meat all helps promotes a more sustainable industry and protect the environment.
SHOP…Before you shop…make a meal plan. It might seem like a time consuming step, but to avoid additional waste in your kitchen, make sure you’re going to use-up what you purchase. Growing your own and buying local, fresh produce will also help save money, energy and reduce waste. Remember your list and your reusable shopping bags for the most minimal-waste shopping experience.
C L E A N I N G… When it comes to cleaning in the kitchen, it’s the chemical cleaners and your water usage that you want to reduce for a greener kitchen.
THE DISHES…energy efficient dishwashers have been shown (in some circumstances) to use less water and energy that handwashing dishes – this is dependent on a number of factors, but making sure you clean the filter regularly, wash on eco-mode and stack according to guidelines all help2. If you do wash your dishes by hand, reduce water use by filling the sink with a couple of inches of water to pre-rinse all your dishes. Hotter water works better, meaning you’ll actually need less. Try the ENJO Kitchen Sponge to remove grease and grime with minimal effort!
TAPWARE…your typical kitchen tap sees a 15-18 litres/minute water flow, this can be reduced dramatically, to as little as 2 litres/minute with low-flow and aerating models3. Make sure you get leaky taps fixed sooner rather than later and think about collecting rainwater for watering garden beds and lawns.
THE PRODUCTS…cleaning in the kitchen can be entirely chemical-free with ENJO, and you’ll use less water and see less waste as ENJO Fibres last up to 3 years! All you need is water and your ENJO Kitchen Glove and Miracle and you’re away. The fibres physically remove dirt and bacteria that becomes trapped in the unique weave – effective cleaning without the chemicals!
F O O D A N D D R I N K … efforts to keep kitchen waste to a minimum can be helped in a big way by the methods in which you store your food, organise your pantry and by growing your own.
INDOOR GARDENS…growing foods you love and use often just makes sense, and growing them inside is an easy way to keep away the pests. There are many easy indoor garden systems available, IKEA even stock a range of self-watering pots – minimal fuss for a greener kitchen life. Choose to grow the things you love and you’ll reduce your shopping bill in the process.
STORAGE…the fridge and freezer have become a food-storage essential for the home, and can be a big drain on energy if you’re not careful. Things like the door seal, ice build-up and even the location of your fridge can effect its efficiency. Make sure your fridge isn’t flush against the wall, air should be able to circulate effectively. Don’t place your fridge in a space that receives a lot of bright sunlight, and check the door seals are working and replace if necessary. It’s also important you defrost your freezer regularly2.
COFFEE…coffee is an Australian early-morning favourite, and the daily grind can cause a waste build up – but luckily, your coffee grounds can be used for good – further reducing your kitchen waste. Coffee grounds are great for adding nitrogen, potassium and magnesium to fertilise soil, or mix grounds with some organic coconut oil and you’ve got yourself a beautiful body scrub.
ORGANISE…doubling up on items you already have happens, but when it happens often, it can lead to a huge amount of waste – an estimated $8 billion worth Australia-wide4. Organising your groceries and your pantry is a simple way to avoid waste, using glass jars to store items you use often is not only a practical storage solution, it also makes sure those staple items are always in view and you know when you’re fully stocked.
W A S T E … one of the main culprits when it comes to waste in the kitchen is food itself. Up to 40% of the average kitchen bin is food, Australians actually discard up to 20% of the food they purchase5.
COMPOSTING… reusing organic waste from your kitchen is a great way to reduce kitchen waste and see your garden thrive, it’s a win-win. Composting can be as simple as burying food scraps in your garden or buying a specialised composting bin. With households embracing sustainable living there is sure to be a compost bin to suit your lifestyle and design needs!
REUSE & RECYCLE… packaging of food products is another big contributor to kitchen waste, and as most packaging has no other use, ensuring you recycle is important. Avoid a kitchen bin full of plastic wrappers by making purchasing decisions based on packaging, opting for foods in glass jars or cardboard boxes that can be used for another purpose or can be put straight into the recycling bin.
GROWING FROM WASTE…there are many fruits and vegetables that can actually be grown from their scraps, all you need is a little time and a little tlc. It’s a great way to reduce your kitchen waste and your weekly spend on groceries, plus you’ll increase your intake of fresh produce.
BEESWAX STORAGE…move aside GLAD® Wrap, now you can easily reduce your use of plastic cling wrap and zip-lock bags with Bee green wraps. Australian made by virtually zero wastage, these cotton sheets are infused with beeswax and are reusable for up to a year! You simply use the warmth of your hands and fold the paper around your food items, just as you would with cling film.