4 Ideas to bring the bounty into your sustainable kitchen
The kitchen is a bustling place in most homes: Meals are made, conversations happen, and days are planned. The kitchen is the creative center of your home.
You may always have a project on the counter, a few cut herbs in the window and even a canning project waiting to become a future family meal. It can get messy! A sustainable kitchen is one that serves your family needs and helps the environment by reducing waste and using energy efficiently. Here are a few ideas to help turn your kitchen into a sustainable kitchen.
Design a kitchen garden
During the Renaissance, the French built potagers, or kitchen gardens, which provided food and herbs for households year-round. Kitchen gardens were designed to be low maintenance and aesthetically beautiful, with lots of edible perennials. They can be in ground or planted in pots on the deck.
Create an indoor growing station
No outdoor growing area to admire from the kitchen window? Create an indoor herb or vegetable growing station in a sunny window. Most edible plants require six hours of light daily, either from sunlight or a grow light. Many plants, such as lettuce, celery, ginger, potatoes, bean sprouts, garlic, and onions, can be grown from kitchen scraps.
Even an unused corner of the counter can be turned into a grow station with proper lighting. This counter top hot house & heat mat can be purchased from Amazon for less than $40. Use it to begin your own microgreen station and have fresh greens year round.
Bonus: Indoor plants help improve air quality.
Build a composting system
Each person can prevent 140 pounds of waste from going into landfills each year by composting. That’s important for many reasons, but mainly because food waste breaks down in landfills and produces methane, a greenhouse gas. Composting turns kitchen scraps into compost, further reducing the need for fertilizer, pesticides, and water.
Build a compost bin outside and keep a container next to the sink to collect scraps, tuck a homemade worm bin under the sink, or create a kitchen scrap composter from a garbage can. Every little kit of kitchen recycling helps.
Plan for food preservation
Local food is most sustainable, and many of us can make the space to store 20 pounds of pears when they’re ripe at the farmer’s market, or a season’s worth of homemade tomato sauce. Your pantry is the key.
By incorporating a pantry area (even is it’s just an extra cupboard), dehydrator, efficient freezer, pressure canner, and other food preservation tools into your kitchen, a family can take advantage of local and sustainable food options.
—Thanks to CustomMade.com for the infographic. Find out about sustainable building practices, simple ways to green your kitchen and simple recipes for green cleaners.