Earth Day Kitchen Basics – Sustainaibilty
April 22, 2011 in Hearth Witchery
Today for Earth Day, I thought I would talk about sustainability in the kitchen. Especially for us as Pagans, this is an important issue. We can truly make a difference even through our cooking, even though it may not seem that way at first.
Sustainability is simply the endeavor and ability to endure. We want nature to be sustained; she is our mother, after all. One of the best ways to do this is simply to waste less, and do things in a “green” manner. It can pertain to food waste, as well as paper and plastics that are used in the kitchen. Here are a few ideas on basic sustainability in the kitchen.
5. Don’t waste Sauce! Chance are, when you make pasta (or other saucy things) you make a lot more sauce than you actually need. If you use sauce from a jar, maybe you try to use only half the jar of sauce instead of the whole jar, trying to save the rest for later. But do you ever really use it? We make giant batches of pasta sauce, use what we want, and freeze the rest. If you have extra ice cube trays, these are perfect! Spoon pasta sauce into the tray, and freeze! When frozen, empty into a Ziploc bag. Repeat until the sauce is gone! Not only are you not wasting the sauce, you are now portioning! Each of the “pasta sauce cubes” is about 1 Tbsp. worth of pasta sauce.
4. Plastic Wrap. This is a big thing for me. Not only is plastic wrap infinitely annoying, getting stuck to itself, it is obviously not good for the environment. Sometimes, you need it. Everything, of course, in moderation. There is a Etsy shop, Orion Baby Designs, who makes reusable bowl covers! Cotton on the outside and polyurethane coated fabric inside, they keep moisture in just like plastic wrap, but are even machine washable! Who can say no to that?
3. Compost and Garden! This is one of the biggest ways not to waste. Some of us, this isn’t feasible for. Some of us live in tiny apartments, or as my husband and I did for years, a tiny basement suite. For those who can though, it’s a great way to conserve and reuse. Organic “garbage” goes into the compost, which you use to fertilize soil, where you grow more vegetables, which produce more organic “garbage”! It’s a great cycle of sustainability.
2. Paper towel. From wiping up spills to cleaning windows, paper towel can be useful in so many places! But so can kitchen towels. I use crocheted cloths, one for natural cleaners, one for chemical cleaners, and one for wiping up spills. They are each a different color so I don’t confuse them, and it really cuts down on the amount of paper towel we use. I sell some myself on my Etsy store, in Sabbat Colors.
1. Shop used. One of the biggest issues in the kitchen is the need for better, newer, shinier products. I have a Kitchen Aid mixer. I bought it refurbished, not brand new. It works just fine, is shiny, and was about 200$ less than brand new. You can find gently used kitchen items on EBay, vintage ones on Etsy, and of course everything else in your local thrift store.
I was a child during the birth of the current recycling movement. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It’s a great concept that is still used today, and it is something that we should remember all year long, not just on Earth Day.
What can you do to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle this year?