Go open your pantry and see how green it really is. You may be surprised to find how environmentally unfriendly your pantry really is.
Not to worry though — just follow these 10 tips and your pantry will be greener and more environmentally aware than what is now.
And once you’ve made it more environmentally friendly, well then, there is no turning back. You’ll find even more ways to make it even greener. Soon you’ll be inviting your friends and family in just to take a look at your pantry.
1. Weekly Shopping
Don’t take grocery shopping for granted. The biggest waste of money and time is taking off to the grocery store on a whim.
Before you head out to the organic market or store, make a list and stock up on the things you use most often. This will help avoid your having to run to the store for just one ingredient.
That isn’t efficient or ecological at all.
2. Take Your Reusable Bags
Be sure to take a reusable carry bag to take your groceries home. Plastic bags take 10 years to decompose. That’s a long time for a bag that you use for 15 minutes; the time it takes to get the groceries home.
3. Look for Reduced Pakaging
When filling your pantry, look for ingredients that have less packaging.
Look for products in recycled packages or those that are compostable.
Buy spices in bulk and keep a little in the pantry and freeze the rest. Pour ingredients in recycled sterilized jars and containers.
4. Keep Stuff From Spoiling
One of the greenest things you can do is prevent waste before it exists. Use clear jars to store things. Date your perishables so you know when you need to use them by, and you can properly store them.
5. Use Your Compost
Compost organic items like onions, garlic, lemons, old flour and grains. You can also compst stale spices and dried herbs. If you don’t have a garden, use a worm composter.
6. Buy Local
Buy items that are produced locally whenever possible. Many spices and staples com from other locations and purchasing these items can increase your carbon footprint. So you want to keep your basics from homes, local farms or farmers markets.
When you have a sunny windowsill, grow your own herbs there.
7. Go Vegan
Most Canadians and Americans eat double their recommended intake for poultry, meat and fish.
Store legumes like beans, lentils and fava beans in your pantry, and choose these proteins over meats for two or three days a week.
Just think, the land used to grow beans and vegetables yields 10 times more protein over the land used to raise cattle.
8. Use Green Cleaning Materials
Do your skin, your lungs and your wallet a favor by eliminating the commercial cleaners from your pantry. Instead use simple cleaning products like vinegar, lemon, bicarbonate soda, teatree oils and eucalyptus oils. This can significantly decrease your carbon footprint.
9. Eliminate Processed Foods
Look through your cupboards and eliminate those processed sugars, flowers and above all, get rid of that instant stuff.
10. Read Labels
If you haven’t practiced reading the labels of the foods you eat, now is a good time to start. Look at all of those canned goods and remove the stuff that has processed ingredients, sugar, salts and chemicals. You’ll probably find that this amounts to most of your canned goods.
But just remember, this is a one time deal. If possible, use it for your compost or recycle it in some way.