Green Kitchens

Turning our kitchens green – no matter what color they are

The Three R’s in the Kitchen: RECYCLE June 1, 2008

Filed under: Three R's,Using the kitchen — kevwilliams @ 5:28 pm

The kitchen produces a large proportion of our household waste, but it’s also a great candidate for reducing it.

Recycling options differ depending on your location. What’s available in your town or city? Check with your local government what can be recycled locally, and if pickup services exist. There will be rules as to what’s acceptable, and in what condition (labels or not, cleanliness etc). Take this seriously – putting the wrong things in your bin doesn’t just contaminate your load, but the truckload it’s added to.

I find I need to have a pretty big bin for plastics, but small for metal and glass. That’s more of a comment on food manufacturers moving from glass and metal over to plastic than much to do with me, although I eat very little canned food.

One very important category of “stuff” to recycle is food scraps. Composting in the kitchen sometimes gets a bad rap for being smelly, but it doesn’t need to be. Use a container which doesn’t absorb smells (stainless steel or other metal is good), with a tight-fitting lid, and empty it frequently. Worm composting is a great year-round solution, too. A hole or chute in the counter which goes directly to the composting bucket (indoors or out) is great in theory but in practice it’s hard to make it smell-proof, bug-proof, critter-proof and easily cleanable.

Comments? How do you recycle in your kitchen?

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The Three Rs in the Kitchen: REDUCE

Filed under: Uncategorized,Using the kitchen — kevwilliams @ 5:14 pm

The first of the three R’s is REDUCE for good reason – it’s much better not to produce and use something in the first place, than to work out ways to reuse it or recycle it after the fact.

So, how to reduce what’s coming into the kitchen?

  • Use reusable grocery bags, preferably biodegradable cloth rather than heavy plastic or man-made fabrics
  • Buy in bulk, using your own containers if possible
  • Start or join a food-buying co-operative and buy in BIG bulk
  • Grow your own food
  • Buy unprocessed foods (and compost the compostable scraps)
  • Store food in long-lived reusable containers (glass, real Tupperware, etc)

How do you reduce the incoming stuff into your kitchen? Let’s have your ideas in the comments.