Tag Archives: ecofriendly

5 Versatile Items That Should Be in Your Zero Waste Kitchen

Sometimes it feels like, no matter what you do, there’s just never enough cabinet or drawer space. Even the largest kitchens seem to be desperate for space to store?all those specialty spatulas, cookie cutters and containers. Ohhh, the containers…

But when you go zero waste, a new priority comes into play: minimalism. While juicers, avocado slicers and bagel guillotines are great at what they do, these “unitasker” devices can easily be replaced by other more versatile kitchen items, saving you both money and coveted storage space.

Minimalism allows for a better lifestyle to take hold – one focused less on consumerism and more on sustainability, less on acquiring things and more on doing things. Sound like your cup of tea? Here are a few items that will get your kitchen into shape for a creative, thrifty, zero waste life.

1.?Mason jars

Few items get more use in my zero waste kitchen than my set of lidded mason jars. They are?used to store leftovers from restaurants, stock pantry goods from the bulk section of our food co-op, shake up a handmade salad dressing and take a glass of iced tea on the road. I’m in love!


A colander might sound like a strange addition to this little top five list, but it’s actually quite a versatile item! Besides being the perfect tool to thoroughly rinse produce, colanders can be makeshift ice buckets (keeps ice cool and drains off water as it melts), cool cooked ingredients quickly, and even strip herbs.?What else do you think you could do with a colander?

3. Chef’s knife

Every kitchen, zero waste or otherwise, should have a high-quality chef’s knife at its center. Designed to be used in many applications,?you can use a chef’s knife to chop vegetables quickly, strip corn and crush garlic. Really, you just need the one!

4. Muffin tin

This might sound surprising, but our muffin tin gets more use than any of our other baking dishes. We use it to make ice (perfect for those summertime libations!), as a soap mould (we make our own often), to sort odds and ends,?and?as a container in which to freeze herbs. Any other creative ideas for a muffin tin?

5.?Cast iron

Ahh, the cast iron. Always a household favorite, the cast iron pan grounds our kitchen. Ever present on top of the stove – clean and well-seasoned – that cast iron is used at every meal to do everything from saut? veggies to press water out of tofu. But its most special quality? It can go from stovetop to oven!

What are your “big hits” in the kitchen? Which items get the most versatile use?

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5 Versatile Items That Should Be in Your Zero Waste Kitchen

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Cutting Food Waste Would Help Fight Climate Change

I suspect it’s pretty much consensus opinion that the amount of food we waste, while people go hungry, is obscene. What’s less well recognized, however, is that cutting food waste isn’t just a way to fight hunger. It could also help us reduce the negative impacts of climate change.

A new study from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research suggests thatup to 14% of farming-related emissions could be slashed if we made a concerted effort to tackle food waste. That’s a pretty astounding number. And what’s particularly interestingand obvious once you think about itis that the food waste problem isn’t just about how much we waste, but what we waste too. Jrgen Kropp, co-author and deputy chair of PIK research domain Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities, explains more in a press release:

As many emerging economies like China or India are projected to rapidly increase their food waste as a consequence of changing lifestyle, increasing welfare and dietary habits towards a larger share of animal-based products, this could over proportionally increase greenhouse-gas emissions associated with food waste at the same time undermining efforts for an ambitious climate protection.

It’s not explicitly laid out in the summary of the study, and I have yet to read the study in detail, but my assumption is that the focus on animal product-related food waste is three-fold. First, as is fairly well known by now,meat and dairy have a much higher climate impactthan most plant-based foods. Second, meat and dairy spoil faster than rice and beans. And thirdly, eating spoiled meat and dairy has a much graver consequence than snacking on a shriveled carrot.

The study itself does not get into how we go about cutting food waste. But given that agriculture accounts for as much as 20% of global emissions, a 14% cut to waste that’s morally obscene anyway should be a no-brainer in terms of societal priorities.

Fortunately, fighting food waste is beginning to getat least a fraction of the legislative attention that it deserves.

Written by Sami Grover. Reposted with permission from TreeHugger.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Cutting Food Waste Would Help Fight Climate Change

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The Dirty Truth About the Holidays

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The Dirty Truth About the Holidays

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