Although the path to a zero-waste lifestyle may seem overwhelming at times, these simple tips for cooking without any waste will help you achieve your goal in no time. With an aim to produce as little waste as possible, the secret to success is making small changes. Head into your kitchen and surprise yourself by just how easy it is to dramatically reduce the things you throw away and what a big impact it makes on your conscience and the environment.
Change the way you shop
The first of our tips for cooking without any waste is quite possibly the easiest. When you head into your local grocery store, challenge yourself to buy the products that use as little packaging as possible. You are most likely to find success in the produce aisle as many grocery stores offer loose fruits and vegetables. Instead of using the plastic bags they provide to store your purchases, bring along your own reusable cloth bag. The grocer can weigh your bag before you fill it and will then subtract the weight from the total cost. You can also find shops that sell dried goods in bulk and then bring along your reusable glass containers to stock up on essentials without using any plastic packaging. This is also a great excuse to include more healthy food in your diet. Sometimes, you don’t have a choice and you need to buy a packaged item. In these cases, it’s a good idea to look for items that come in recyclable boxes. Many companies now sell their products in glass containers inside of compostable boxes.
Sensible storage is key
Great tips for cooking without any waste revolve around the manner in which you store your food. Once you decide to pursue this lifestyle, it may be a good idea to invest in the highest quality glass jars and affordable storage containers, ideally not plastic. Once you get home from the grocery shop, seal all your dried goods in these containers to keep everything fresher for longer. You can also use these glass containers to keep your produce safe from environmental pollutants after you’ve washed them. Your containers are also the perfect place to keep leftovers. One of the leading contributors to food waste is cooked food. So, next time you cook up a Thai feast, store your leftovers in the fridge. This way you’ll be able to enjoy the food a second time around and none of the waste ends up in a landfill, which is great news for the environment.
Be wise about your veggie scraps
When you cook, you inevitably end up with a few scraps. The last of our tips for cooking without any waste revolves around the proper disposal method for any unused food items. Many fruits and vegetables can be regrown from the scraps that are removed during the cooking process. The next time you cut an onion, carrot or head of celery, keep the root and place it in a small saucer of water. Soon, these scraps will have grown enough roots to allow you to plant them in your garden and grow your own fresh produce. You can also save the seeds from your tomatoes, melons and berries and sprout them to grow your own. If you’re unable to use the scraps to regrow produce, it’s a good idea to make use of a compost bin. Any table scraps and kitchen waste can be placed in this bin to ferment and degrade. After a few months, you have a rich compost that you can use in your garden to grow more food.