How to Go Green in the Kitchen for Earth Day 2020
Each year Earth Day takes place April 22nd but this year is a little extra special. Why? Not only does 2020 mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, but this year we’re celebrating differently due to coronavirus.
By Brianna Carroll
Earth Day as we know it is typically celebrated by getting outdoors, volunteering and participating in green initiatives. This year, we’re pivoting to initiatives you can incorporate in your household. As we all know, that’s probably the environment you’re spending the most time in right now.
With families spending much of their time at home during this pandemic it’s inevitable that water, hydro and food costs will increase in your household. In tune with this, there will also be more waste. With Earth Day right around the corner, we’re highlighting some simple efforts you can make in your kitchen to go green. These small changes are easier than you may think!
- Plan in Advance: Make your life easier by planning meals and making a grocery list in advance! Reduce waste by avoiding buying unnecessary ingredients, and preparing to cook extra portions to save that can be easily reheated later. This will reduce unnecessary trips to the store, and saves you time by taking the “what’s for dinner tonight?” question out of the equation. To easily implement this tip, download our weekly meal planner.
- Plant a garden or buy local where you can: This helps to reduce your overall carbon footprint, and reduces the waste used for goods packaged by the grocery store. Many local markets are still open during the pandemic. Check for local ones in your area.
- Eat less red meat: It’s undeniable that the greenhouse gasses emitted in the meat industry can have an effect on the environment. We’ve centred our lifestyle around the Mediterranean lifestyle which incorporates quality meats less often. Instead, we opt for other sustainably-sourced alternatives, such as quality fish and poultry.
- Make simple meals: One-pot meals are a great example of this. You can not only save energy by using a slow cooker, but also make weeknight cooking much easier. Try out these two recipes:
- Embrace leftovers and prepare for future meals: Stop thinking that leftovers ONLY means reheated extras of last-night’s dinner. We definitely believe leftovers are more than that. Meal leftovers are great, but consider freezing items that can be easily be reheated. This works great for items such as pasta sauce, soup and stews!
- Get the most out of your meals: Cook sustainably by working with ingredients you already have in your house! Rather than buying new products, find recipes that allow you to work with ingredients you have on hand. Check out our Fridge Feasts video series for creative ideas like 3-ingredient Sweet Potato Gnocchi.
- Consciously use your kitchen appliances. Use countertop appliances where possible! Your crockpot, small oven and air-fryer use significantly less energy than your conventional oven! You can also opt to wash your dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher. If you do use the dishwasher, you can still save energy by not using the heat to try setting.
- Compost, compost, compost! Recycling your food waste is not only a great way to reduce the amount of garbage you’re putting out each week, it’s one of the BEST ways to stop wasting food. If you have your own garden, this is a great place to put your compost to use!
Finally, stay safe, keep cooking and happy Earth day!