You spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but not because you fall into some domestic stereotype - you just love food. I don't blame you, making delicious meals is incredibly satisfying, and I'm guessing that you also enjoy finding new ways to spruce up your cooking space. Well, you're in luck: I have five simple tips on how to upgrade to a greener kitchen (no paintbrush necessary) and you'll even save money.
1. Baking soda and vinegar. Many recipes call for these ingredients, so you're likely to have them in stock. As an added bonus, these inexpensive items make the best chemical-free all purpose cleaner! Simply sprinkle baking soda on a surface, pour a bit of vinegar on a rag, and wipe: tada - it's clean! You can also add some lemon in the mix for a naturally fresh scent. Or get a little more creative by making the Green Goodness All Purpose Green Home Cleaner.
2. Trash the bags. Consider either using biodegradable trash bags or getting rid of bags altogether. Biodegradable bags look and work just like the average plastic brands, except they decompose easily - they can be found at most natural markets and from many online retailers. If you'd want to go super green and keep your wallet full, skip the bags entirely and put waste directly into your trash can, then clean it out when you empty it.
3. Glass and stainless steel containers. Using glass and stainless steel to store your food is not only better for the environment, but it's safer than plastic for your health. Instead of buying plastic containers that need to be replaced often, invest in durable glass or stainless, or reuse food jars when they're empty. You can store anything from leftovers to herbs to grains in these containers, and they'll also taste better as a result.
4. Grow your own herbs and veggies. There's nothing like eating a meal made with fresh produce, but it's not too often that it comes from your own soil. However, growing herbs and vegetables is much easier than you may imagine, and can be done in the tiniest of spaces. Whether you have a big yard for a garden, or just a windowsill in a small apartment, you can grow your own. Pick up some seedlings from a nursery and ask them for advice on how to grow them successfully - you'll have tall plants before you know it! The satisfaction of harvesting your own produce is an amazing feeling, and your taste buds will rejoice.
5. Compost. Don't let that word scare you - composting can be extremely easy and clean, and you don't even have to use worms! After preparing snacks and meals you will often be left with a pile of food scraps - instead of tossing them in the trash, feed them to the earth! There are many methods of composting, from a box in your backyard to a porcelain pail on your counter. You can even store your scraps in a bucket in the freezer and empty into a yard waste bin outside when it's full. Find a composting method that is most comfortable for you and give it try - the earth loves food just as much as you do!
I'll let you get back to the organic meal you were preparing, and perhaps you'll give these tips a thought as you're chopping up some fresh veggies. Cleaning with baking soda and vinegar is a great jumping off point - dirty up your counters so you have an excuse to give it a try!