15 tips and tricks to make your kitchen more sustainable
1. Use the dishwasher – but only when it’s full
Dishwashers do tend to be more environmentally friendly than washing up by hand but try and wait until you have a full load and use the shortest cycle you have. If there’s the option to turn off the final heat dry, try deactivating it and letting the dishes air dry.
2. Think twice about kitchen roll
Sadly, wet and used kitchen roll isn’t suitable for recycling though a lot of it is wishcycled.
Use sponges to wipe up spills, tea towels for drying and wire racks for draining fried foods.
There’s even some clever reusable kitchen roll available now.
3. When boiling water, use a lid
It will trap the heat inside and bring it to the boil much faster.
4. Ditch the disposables
When my son was 12, he declared that he thought we should only eat from paper plates at home… it was also coincidentally around the time he was added to the washing up rota.
Next time you have a party, BBQ or picnic, consider how you can use sustainable products. There’s a great selection of sustainable picnic baskets and coolers on the market.
Plastic cutlery really is something that should be consigned to the history books and with the excellent selection of bamboo reusables available, there’s no reason to consider anything plastic!
5. Take cover
Beeswax wraps and silicone lids have gained popularity in the last few years and with good reason.
UK households use enough clingfilm every year to wrap around the globe 30 times!
Clingfilm is difficult to recycle and generally ends up in landfill, where it takes years to break down. There’s also concern within the medical profession about the potential effect it can have on our health with it being linked to cancers and fertility problems.
If you’re using aluminium foil, this can be cleaned multiple times (even in the dishwasher) before adding clean foil to your recycling.
6. Ban plastic bags
The charge for carrier bags in the UK, does seem to have had an effect with the government reporting a 95% decrease in supermarket carrier bags.
Always try to remember your reusable bags and smaller produce bags for fruit and veg.
For packed lunches, use beeswax wraps or bamboo boxes.
7. Repurpose water
Save the water you use to rinse rice and produce and use it to water your plants. The starch content is great for their good bacteria levels.
8. Save water
Don’t let the tap run when washing dishes and pans by hand. A good old-fashioned washing up bowl can help with the wash, followed by a quick rinse under the tap.
9. Don’t use large appliances when small ones will do
If you can, use a microwave and toaster, they use much less energy that the oven and grill.
10. Know what’s in your fridge
Check out our Food Waste guide to learn how to make the most of the food you buy.
Only use a preheat when necessary: baking, making soufflés etc. If you’re baking potatoes or roasting vegetables, they can go straight into a cold oven.
12. Choose eco-friendly cleaning products
With so many plant-based and refillable products on the market now, we’re spoilt for choice. Opt for solid washing up liquid bars, similar to soap bars to ditch the plastic packaging completely.
13. Check your fridge temperature…
It should be running at approximately 5⁰C or 37⁰F. Invest in a thermometer and adjust accordingly.
14. …and make sure it’s positioned correctly
Your fridge should have at least four inches between the back and the wall to help heat to flow more efficiently.
15. Compostable cloths, brushes & scourers
Wooden, bamboo and coconut washing utensils are now available. As always, use what you have for now, but consider a natural alternative when it’s time to replace them.