How to start to embrace Zero Waste lifestyle in our Kitchen?As you know at Klow, we’re committed to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle. We’ve been inspired by incredible people, and it’s why we also want to introduce you with wonderful human being around the world that have change their lifestyle to protect the planet.
This week we’re receiving Camille from the french blog “Camilleselance”, in this open post she will share wirth us some insight about her zero waste lifestyle. A lifestyle that she have embraced since 3 years now. Camille will share with us, her insight and advices on how to lead a zero waste lifestyle. More especially on “how to cook without wasting”.
Zero waste is an approach that aims to reduce the amount of waste we throw away every day. This approach goes far beyond recycling. Indeed, in zero waste, we do not try to know “how to recycle” a garbage but “how to avoid it”. The best waste is therefore… the one that is avoided.
Zero waste is a real intellectual toolbox that encourages us to find sustainable alternatives to packaging and other disposable everyday objects. Obviously, you can’t become a zero waster in one day because it requires to change your habits. A good technique for gradually adopt new routines is to proceed in stages. For example, you can adopt a zero-waste approach in the bathroom, at the office, while travelling… But one of the most effective ways to reduce your waste is through the kitchen.
1 - Adopt bulk purchasing
Packaging is a really important part of what we throw away. When you think about it, we buy products knowing that a part of them will end up in the trash once at home. So we literally throw our money away!
Even if a certain number of our packaging can be recycled, a big part of them unfortunately ends up in the trash because they cannot be properly sorted (yogurt pots etc.). In addition, while some packaging can be recycled well (paper, cardboard, glass), others have a very poor “recyclability”. Thus, plastic is at best recycled once but then ends up in a landfill or in an incinerator.
As consumers, we are more and more "aware" and we change our ways of consuming. If you have the choice, choose stores that offer bulk. Organic stores generally have a wide range of salty products (rice, pasta, flour), or sweet products (cereals, coffee, cocoa, sugar). There are also 100% bulk brands (Day by Day), and more and more local zero waste grocery stores are being created. Another great way to do your shopping in bulk is to go to the market. Our small traders regularly and with great pleasure accept to serve us directly in our own fabric bags (for vegetables), jars (everything solid, such as cheese, cream, meat and fish etc...) and basket.
If you cannot do your shopping in bulk, and the supermarket or drive-through is still your only solution, do not hesitate to favour cardboard, metal or glass rather than plastic packaging. The ideal is to buy the quantities necessary for our consumption.
2 - Back to the basics & cook
One of the most effective ways to make Zero Waste in the kitchen is to buy your basic ingredients in bulk and cook your own dishes. Instead of buying a frozen pizza, make your own dough (I promised it's very simple!), use a tomato sauce you cooked, add the vegetables you found at the market... It takes more time but it is ultimately cheaper and the taste is simply incomparable!
For a Zero Waste aperitif, make your own hummus from chickpeas bought in bulk, cook crackers with a homemade dough and cheese that you have grated yourself, take seasonal vegetables and diced cheese bought from the cheese maker, etc. Sometimes, you don’t need a lot of things to make an original and tasty aperitif!
3 - Focus on the durable rather than the disposable
In your kitchen, do not hesitate to gradually replace your disposable items with durable ones. Cups, straws and others plastic cutlery can be thrown away! They are easily replaceable by classic washable cutlery that has a much lower ecological impact. You can replace your paper towel roll with cloths or cloth towels. Choose durable utensils made of non-toxic materials (wood, stainless steel). Your items will be more durable (and will therefore ultimately cost you less in the long run), and in addition, your kitchen will be much more beautiful.
4 - Cooking Zero Waste and without wasting
Why throw away your leftovers when you can find a whole bunch of recipes on the internet to accommodate them? There is no need to throw away your yoghurts as soon as the expiry date is reached, they can be kept in the fridge very well for several days beyond that.
To avoid waste, it is also possible to eat a lot of things that are usually thrown in the garbage. Don't throw away your radish tops anymore but make a delicious cream soup with them or a very good homemade pesto. You are used to eating only the white part of your leeks? What a pity, the green one would make a very good soup or a delicious pie. The hardened bread will make an excellent French toast, or a very good bread crumb. You can even make muffins with the skin of bananas (as long as they are organic)!
5 - Find a solution for composting
Bio-waste (food scraps, kitchen waste) accounts for nearly a third of our waste! The ideal solution is to find a solution to compost this waste because it can produce high quality fertilizer. There are various solutions, whether you live in a house (garden composter) or in the city (shared composters, apartment composters). In some countries, this bio-waste is collected in special bins, as are recycling bins. The compost produced by the cities is then sold to local farmers. This makes it possible to create a whole local, circular economy.
6 - Favour local and seasonal products
We are generally interested in Zero Waste for ecological reasons: we want to reduce our own environmental impact, leave a cleaner planet for our children, etc. We are then sometimes confronted with insoluble equations in the choice of our purchases: how to choose between bulk beans but from Peru, or beans that come from your country but are packed? But we must not fall into the unique trap that zero waste is only linked to our packaging. The transport of our food can also have a much greater ecological impact. When you can, it is a good idea to prefer seasonal vegetables and local products that have not been around the world several times to land on our plates. Find out where your fruits and vegetables come from and try to see if your local businesses have partnerships with small producers that you can also support in your own way. It's better to combine the useful to the pleasant, right?
In the end, the important thing is to go gradually, at your own pace. You may not change all your habits at once, but the important thing is to do something, even a little something, in a caring way with yourself. So, are you tempted to adopt Zero Waste in the kitchen?