A Sustainable Future for the World Begins at Home
“Little drops of water… Make the mighty ocean…” is a very popular line from Julia Carney’s poem Little Things. But is it being mentioned here? What has this line to do with being environmentally friendly? The answer to those questions is that this line perfectly sums up the core policy of eco-friendly attitudes. We cannot stop environmental degradation overnight. It is a long drawn, tedious process that involves making small changes in our daily lives to achieve the ultimate objective - a sustainable world where all of our needs are met without sacrificing the ecology. You are an individual and it is not possible for you to change the world alone but you can change your immediate reality and that small change can have a big impact on the world in terms of environmental protection. In other words, the journey towards a balanced and sustainable future begins at home.
How to Make your Kitchen Eco-Friendly?
The kitchen is the most used part of your home and this is where the change must begin. It is fairly easy to make your kitchen eco-friendly. You have to adopt some habits, replace some of your products with environmentally friendly alternatives and that's about it. Following are 6 points to that tune and they will help you convert your kitchen for the better.
Say No to Plastic!
Reducing the use of plastics is one of the best ways to make your kitchen eco-friendly. There are various ways to do so but the most effective way is to buy fresh produce from a farmers’ market instead of a supermarket. Fresh produce in supermarkets are usually packaged in plastic wraps or containers and you will be increasing plastic waste in your kitchen if you purchase them. This is not the case in a farmers’ market where the produce is displayed in large open cartons and you bring your own bag to carry your purchase. So no plastic is involved in the entire process.
Use Metal Utensils as much as Possible
Though most of the utensils in our kitchen are made from metal yet there are some stray plastic utensils like plastic bowls, spoons, forks, etc. You must be careful and not allow any such plastic utensils in your kitchen. The other common material with which utensils, especially bowls, are made is ceramic. Ceramic is not an environmentally harmful material but they make brittle utensils. There is a high chance of them breaking and creating waste. Hence, it is smart to have metal kitchenware and dinnerware.
Choose Electric Appliances
Our kitchens use two sources of energy, the first is electric energy for the lights, fans, chimney exhausts and some cooking appliances, and the second is cooking gas. It is an energy efficient practice to use only one source of energy in the kitchen and practical consideration says that the source should be electric energy. Gas stoves and ovens should be replaced with electric cooktops and grills. Moreover, electrical cooking appliances use less energy than gas stoves and ovens to cook the same amount of food. You would be using less energy and saving the planet in the process.
Adopt Energy Efficient Practices
Energy efficient practices in the kitchen involve habits that reduce energy waste. These practices are small acts that have a big impact on the environment in the long run. Some examples of energy efficient practices are chopping your vegetables before cooking, not leaving the water running while washing utensils, fruits and vegetables, and switching off the refrigerator when there is no perishable item stored inside.
Reuse is so far the best method of waste management. Products are built to last which means they do not degrade easily. Some take years to degrade. So, you are contributing to the burgeoning pile of wastes if you dispose of products after their primary use is fulfilled. With a little imagination, we can reuse most of the products to serve secondary purposes. For example, we can reuse plastic soft drink bottles as water bottles or as storage containers for oils such as kerosene, mustard oil, coconut oil, or any liquid per se. Broken bowls can be reused as pots for indoor plants, flowers and terrace gardens. Torn t -shirts can be reused as floor wipes and dusters.
Learn Effective Kitchen Waste Management
Effective kitchen waste management involves segregating kitchen wastes into biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes. Each of the two types of wastes have its own disposal method that prevents environmental damage. The segregation of your kitchen waste will lead to their proper disposal and protect the environment in the process. The most effective way to go about this is by having separate dustbins for each type of waste.
10 Eco-Friendly Products for your Kitchen
Actions speak louder than words and hence it is time to act on our principles. You must assess your kitchen and identify all the items there that pose a danger to the environment. After identification, it is time to find alternatives for them. BP Guide has compiled a list of 10 eco-friendly kitchen utilities that are ideal alternatives. Go through them and start shopping for the kitchen makeover.
Dishcloths are an eco-friendly version of kitchen rolls. Kitchen rolls are made of paper and are not reusable, which means it puts excessive pressure on our forest resources to supply the demand. Besides, they create a lot of waste. Dishcloths are made from cotton and can be reused after a wash, thus preventing the above stated environmental degradations. This set contains 10 dishcloths of 5 different colours ( 2 dishcloths of 1 colour). They are made of pure cotton and have striped patterns on them. You can buy this set from Amazon for Rs.399.
2. Silicone bowl lids
Silicone lids are eco-friendly because they remove the need for plastic wraps. The most common method of storing food in the refrigerator is to put them in a tiffin box, or a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. This method keeps the food fresh and prevents them from drying out. But the use of plastic wraps poses harm to the environment and hence an alternative is required. The alternative is silicone lids. This set of silicone lids consists of 5 pieces of different sizes to fit different sizes of bowls. The lids function through the use of the suction technique which makes them airtight covering. The lids are red in colour and this set can be bought from Amazon for Rs.1,599.
3. Glass and steel storage jars
The first set is a pack of glass storage jars. There are 6 of them, each having a capacity of 250 ml. They are round shaped with snap-lock lids which makes the jars airtight. The glass is durable and would not buckle under high temperatures. These jars are ideal for storing snacks, whole spices, pickles and other kitchen tidbits. This set of 6 jars is priced at Rs.399.
This second set is a pack of 4 stainless steel jars with metal screw airtight lids. The capacity of each jar is 800 ml and the dimensions are 15 cm x 10 cm (H x B). Such jars are ideal for storing sugar, salt, flour and the likes. This set can be purchased from TataCliq for Rs.890.
4. Steel serving bowls
This set includes 3 serving bowls of three different capacities, 500 ml, 750 ml and 1250 ml. They are made from high-quality stainless steel and are hence durable. These bowls are also microwavable and come with silicone lids, two most convenient features. Stainless steel utensils are not visually appealing but that drawback has been addressed here. The exterior of the bowls is painted red with butterfly prints, giving them and appealing look. You can buy this set from Amazon for Rs.1,299.
5. Segregated dustbins
Segregated dustbins help in effective waste management. Separating your kitchen wastes into biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes will lead to their proper disposal which is essential for a clean environment. This flip-open dustbin has two segregated compartments. Its body has a stainless steel finish and the lid is made from durable plastic. The stainless steel finish not only makes the product durable and easy to clean but also gives it an elegant look. Each compartment has a removable inner bucket for easy waste disposal. Each bucket has a capacity of 8 litres. Available on Prestige Xclusive, It is priced at Rs.3,595.
6. Copper drinkware
Drinkware is usually made from plastic or glass. The former is harmful to the environment while the later makes for vulnerable drinkware that can break easily and increase waste. The solution is to use copper drinkware. It is both environmentally friendly and durable. This set of copper drinkware includes a bottle and two glasses. One of the pet peeves with metal drinkware is that it's aesthetically unappealing. That will not be a problem here as the exteriors of these drinkware items are painted with a soothing blue colour with intricate patterns drawn on it in yellow. You can buy this set from Home4U for Rs.2,395.
7. Jute shopping bag
A reusable shopping bag is necessary to remove the need for plastic bags from grocery/fresh produce retailers. This ingenious shopping bag is segregated into many compartments which allows you to make optimum use of the bag space. It also prevents softer fruits and vegetables from being squished and mashed by the harder ones. This bag is made from high quality jute which is both durable and eco-friendly. Available on Code Sustain, it is priced at Rs.905.
8. Earthen water pot
Earthen pots are an eco-friendly way to keep water and drinks cool during hot summers. It is like a refrigerator for fluids. This earthen pot can hold up to 11 litres of water or drinks. They can be dispensed via a convenient tap at the base of the pot. Besides, the pot looks quite aesthetic with the painted, multicoloured patterns on it. This pot can be purchased from Mitti Cool for Rs.1,499.
9. Electric rice cooker
This electric rice cooker comes with a non-stick cooking pot, a cooking plate, a steamer, a serving spatula and a measuring cup. The cooking pot’s capacity is 2.8 litres which is large enough to cook 20 cups of rice. Indicators on the rice cooker assist you in cooking. You can also use this appliance to keep food warm. There is also a spill over vent to prevent any mess and an automatic thermal cut-off for safety. You can buy this rice cooker from My Borosil for Rs.5,290.
10. Multipurpose electric grill
This multi-purpose electrical grill is a must have in any kitchen. This appliance is capable of barbeques, frying, roasting and grilling. There are multiple compartments in this grill which enables you to cook multiple dishes simultaneously. This not only saves time but also energy. It is also compact and doesn’t take up much space in the kitchen. The compact size also allows you to take it on outdoor camping. You can buy this multi-purpose grill from Meesho for Rs.1,896.
11. Food Huggers
Using food huggers is a brilliant method to retain the freshness of half cut stored fruits and vegetables. More often than not, we end up using only part of the fruit or vegetable in our recipes and store the remaining part. The latter loses freshness quickly and ends up unusable thus contributing to food wastes. One common method of storing these half-cut produce is by wrapping them in plastic wraps and storing them in refrigerators. This method locks in the freshness for a long time but is not an eco-friendly method as plastic is involved.
This is where food huggers come into play. They are bands made from silicone and are wrapped around the half cut fruits and vegetables to lock in the freshness. The bands are reusable which makes them eco-friendly. This set consists of 4 food huggers of ascending sizes. The smallest one can be used to wrap lemon (or any fruit or vegetable of that size) while the largest one can be used to wrap bell peppers (or any fruit or vegetable of that size). You can buy this set from Waytenz for Rs.299.
Promote a Healthy Lifestyle and Rid of Diseases with Eco Friendly Kitchen Products!
Discussed are 11 eco friendly kitchen products. These products are termed eco friendly as compared to the counterparts, that is plastic products, since they help save the environment. It has also been researched and scientifically proven that the use of plastic products poses a threat to the human body with the likelihood of getting malignant diseases. So to help one stay safe and lead a healthy lifestyle the use of products such as copper drinkware, glass storage jars or even earthen water pots will help save the environment while protecting the body too.
All in all, above are more products to look at that help maintain an eco friendly kitchen. Also remember, that being eco friendly is not only about kitchen products, but also other matters such as waste disposal and management, energy efficiency and even sustainable living through modes such as reuse and recycling. All these have been discussed in detail above and will help one maintain an eco friendly kitchen.