1. Remember the 3 Rs - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The old adage reduce, reuse, recycle is an important one. With that being said, just because something can be recycled does not mean that you should use it. Reduce, reuse, recycle is stated in order of importance. Your primary goal should be to reduce your consumption. If you must consume something then try to make sure you can reuse it. If you cannot reuse a product then make sure it can be recycled. Yes, doing all three of these things is better than doing none, but if you want to be a sustainability champion, think of these in order of importance.
2. Add a compost bin to your kitchen
Food waste. Everyone creates it in some way or another. Maybe you cook from home using raw fruits and veggies that have shells, seeds, or skin. Maybe you live alone and find it difficult to use up your leftovers. Whatever the reason is, food waste does not belong in the garbage can. An incredibly easy way to dispose of this compost is through a small kitchen compost bin. They are cheap, and instead of your precious food waste sitting in a landfill, it is put to good use as fertilizer for plants. Worried about your compost bin getting gross from rotting food waste? Pick up some BinBreeze to solve all your composting problems!
3. Stop using paper towels and throw away dish cloths
Seriously, stop using them. Not only will your kitchen become more sustainable, you’ll save money! Instead of paper towels, buy a package of reusable dish cloths and dish towels. It won’t set you back more than $30, and they last virtually forever. When you spill something on the ground or counter, don’t reach for the paper towel, reach for the dish cloth! Trust us, it’ll work just as well and you don’t need to buy more every couple weeks. If you need to drain the grease off of bacon, use a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. It works better anyway!
4. Use reusable grocery bags
Minimizing your use of plastic bags is simply one of the easiest ways you can become more sustainable. Keep a couple reusable bags in the back of your car, in your purse, or in your fanny pack. There are bags that fold into tiny little packages and fit almost anywhere! Also, for the people in the back who need to hear this - your veggies do not need to go in a plastic bag at the store. You’re going to wash or peel them anyway! If you’re buying loose things, bring a mesh veggie bag that you can purchase at most stores for a couple dollars.
5. Use the dishwasher
Yes, you read that correctly. According to the Natural Resources Defence council, if your dishwasher is energy star certified, it uses as little as 11 litres of water per load. If you compare that to the amount of water the average hand washed load of dishes uses – around 27 litres – you are much better off using the dishwasher. One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t need to rinse your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. As long as you scrape the big bits of food into the compost, your dishwasher will be able to handle the rest!