The kitchen is the heart of the home, but it’s also a place where we’ve all been guilty of creating waste – from throwing out soggy vegetables to discovering lurking leftovers which have taken on a life of their own.
Not only is food waste bad for the planet, it’s a drain on the wallet, with households throwing away between $2,000 and $2,500 worth of food every year! But with a few small changes to your kitchen habits, you can reduce unnecessary kitchen waste, and make your daily food prep greener and cleaner.
1. Plan your menu
Before you go shopping, plan your meals for the week – even if it’s three or four meals, and then factoring in ‘leftover days’ where you can clean out what’s left in the fridge for shopping day. It’s useful to have a few go-to recipes for using up leftovers, too. Things like risotto, fried rice and frittata are great for using up bits and pieces left in the veggie drawer at the end of the week.
2. Get a weekly vegetable box
Not only will you eat more veggies, but you’ll connect with local growers and support organic farming. Plus it’s affordable, and will introd1uce you to new vegetables and fruit which might not be usual go-to items. A great way to boost your creativity in the kitchen.
3. Triage your vegetables
Setting aside half an hour for when your weekly veggies arrive will help them last longer and stay fresher. Wash leafy greens, and wrap them in beeswax wraps to make sure they’re ready to go on busy weeknights.
Make sure soft lettuces and rocket are the first on the table, followed by spinach, kale and broccoli. Hard veggies like carrots, pumpkin and cabbage can hang around for longer, but even leafy greens will last a week if they’re wrapped in an Apiwrap.
4. Side dishes on show
Learn at least one side dish to showcases each vegetable. A grated carrot salad, a sauteed broccoli side or a quick cauliflower bake mean you’ll get more veggies into family meals, and get through the veggie box goodies without causing analysis paralysis during the witching hour.
5. Love your leftovers
Treat your leftovers right. Put leftovers straight into lunch box containers or sandwiches, saving time in the morning and ensuring they don’t stay forgotten in the fridge, spoiling.
6. Ditch the single-use plastic
Still using clingfilm in the kitchen? This single-use plastic creates unnecessary waste and is full of nasties. Instead, invest in alternatives like beeswax wraps, and high quality storage containers, so that you don’t have to resort to throwaway wraps.
7. Eat less meat
Meat production relies on intensive farming practices which aren’t great for the planet. If you do eat meat, make a conscious effort to source organic and humanely produced meat. Try to incorporate at least one night a week of vegetarian meals in your regular meal planning – from vegetarian curries to lentil lasagne, you’ll be surprised at how delicious meat-free can be.
Apiwraps is the original Australian beeswax company – since starting the business from her kitchen table ten years ago, Freyja Tasci has helped save 9.6 million metres of plastic wrap from use. And she’s on a mission to get beeswax wraps into every Aussie household, to reduce our waste dramatically. See more here.