By now, you probably have heard of the imposing doom global warming is bringing upon us. The UN has warned us that we only have twelve more years to turn the damage we have caused around. Here is how you can help, starting in the comfort of your kitchen.
When I first started hearing the term “sustainability“ everywhere, I didn’t fully understand what it meant and why it suddenly seemed to be so important.
When you look up when people first started talking about sustainability, you can see that it was almost never used before the 1970s. That is roughly the time people first started to be concerned about climate change. So it’s safe to say worry about climate change and attempting to live sustainably pretty much go hand in hand.
People who live sustainably are careful to not further exhaust the planets resources. They generally try to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
This all sounds relatively time consuming and like you have to put a lot of effort into it. But if you incorporate it into your everyday life the right way, that is not the case at all.
I am going to show you a few easy ways to make small changes to your kitchen habits. With those adjustments, you will be able to help advert the crisis that is global warming.
Think about where your food comes from
The best place to start your journey of sustainability is to look right where the food you put in your refrigerator comes from.
Chances are you already know how bad keeping livestock and therefore consuming meat is for the environment. An exorbitant amount of the greenhouse gases originates at farms that prepare your future dinner. But if you are like many people I know, the very thought of going meat-free sends shivers down your spine.
I have heard of people that found a fair compromise – they try to only eat meat on the weekends. This is actually a really good solution if you can’t get yourself to give up meat completely but still feel responsible for the path our climate is taking.
If you really crave meat on weekdays, try using meat substitutes. Nowadays there is tofu and vegan “meat“ aplenty. I personally find vegan burgers to taste even better than the standard ones.
When you go grocery shopping, consider going to a local farmers market instead of the closest supermarket. Locally sourced food is so much more healthy and nutritious. You won’t contribute to the huge amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the planes and ships that are needed to transport the food from its origin into Sainsbury’s shelves, as well as avoid unnecessary plastic packaging.
And while you are at it, don’t forget to bring a reusable bag instead of using plastic bags!
Alter your kitchen habits
I am ashamed to admit how often I throw out food that has gone bad because I decided to not use it after all and order in instead. Somebody recently told me that you should build what you cook around what’s in your fridge. Not the other way around. And now that I’ve heard that I could pinch myself for not realising that. But I’m here for you to learn from my mistakes.
Another one of my mistakes you can learn from is that just the other day I realised that a lot of what I thought were inedible leftovers like broccoli stems are actually very much edible. And can be extremely delicious if prepared the right way.
Before you throw away what you think is not usable anymore, double check the internet for any recipes involving the poor veggies.
Thinking of throwing ingredients away because of their sell-by date being in the recent past? Check if it has actually gone bad already. If everything looks and smells normal, you’re good to use them.
A more dish-specific tip is to only use as much water as you actually need to boil your pasta. Or make your cup of tea. Saving water is a very essential hack to accelerate your way to being fully sustainable. And when you are hand washing your dishes, avoid leaving the water running when you aren’t actually using it.
And at last: the most important thing to realise is that sometimes it might not feel like you’re doing much. But more and more people are starting to cook sustainably and there is strength in numbers. All of you together can be contributing to the movement counteracting climate change.