How to Eliminate Waste from Your Kitchen

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Are you surprised sometimes how much garbage you generate each day ? Even if you propose to reduce it and buy things in bulk, even if you take your cloth bag to the supermarket so that they do not give you another plastic to add to the huge pile that you hide in the closet …

It is estimated that in Spain each person generates almost 500 kilos of waste per year . In total, about 21 million tons of waste are left annually by households. Apart from the waste of resources that this implies, the worst thing is that, however much we recycle, a large part ends up contaminating landscapes, seas and aquifers.

Reduce waste to zero

Trying to reduce our garbage is a big challenge, but more and more people are turning to it. Some even propose to eliminate garbage in the home completely . They are part of a movement known as zero waste or zero waste , which embraces a simpler lifestyle in which you do not even need to recycle because there is hardly any trash generated.

One of them is Anne Marie Bonneau, who in her blog Zero Waste Chef shares her adventures and tricks to avoid generating waste in the kitchen . This not only pollutes less, but also ensures that you eat more naturally and healthily.

Because choosing to reduce garbage to zero “is not based on being self-sacrificing,” says this zero residue chef. On the contrary: you will eat better , save money and have more free time.

10 basic tips to avoid generating trash

The kitchen is the area of ​​the house in which we generate more waste : plastic bags, cans, jars, packages, trays, tetrabricks, jars, caps, wrappings of all kinds, remains of cleaning fruits and vegetables, leftovers … Think of everything we throw just to feed ourselves!

Therefore, if you seriously propose reducing your garbage, you can not ignore this front. Among the recommendations of Anne Marie Bonneau to generate less garbage in the kitchen, she has selected these ten for those who decide to put to it:

  • Stop eating processed foods: most of the plastic and garbage we generate comes from the containers in which food is marketed, and these come mostly from processed foods, which are not healthy for us or for us the planet.
  • Avoid bottled drinks: drink tap water and avoid having to get rid of the container. If the water in your area is not quality, use a suitable filter system .
  • Reject any single-use plastic: if you are prepared for the occasions when they are offered, it will be easier to reject them, but in any case, say no to shopping bags, straws and sticks to remove coffee, plates, cutlery and glasses or any other disposable item.
  • Go prepared for the purchase: carry large cloth bags, but also covers or cloth bags for fruits and vegetables, as well as different containers.
  • Buy in bulk: go for good basic food taking what you need from bulk product containers.
  • Buy more often: it will allow you to buy smaller quantities to avoid having your food run out and having to throw it away.
  • Go through the market: buy fresh products at the market in your area; They will taste better and come unpacked.
  • Buy fruits and vegetables “ugly”: you do not need your fruits and vegetables to be bright, without marks and all the same; Apart from that many times if they are like this it is because they have been treated chemically, the ugly fruits and vegetables are also usable.
  • Choose everything you want, but eat everything you choose: over time you will know how to adjust the quantities better and buy only what you need. If you buy more than you can eat, it will end up in the trash.
  • Cooking !: not only eliminate a lot of waste, but also improve your diet and your health.

What you need to reduce your garbage to zero

To begin with you hardly need anything, just a minimal team , and as Anne Marie Bonneau says, “you will surely realize that you already have everything at home”. Get these basic ones and you will avoid that an avalanche of garbage will catch you off guard:

1. Bags and cloth covers

You are interested in making cloth bags to buy and cloth covers to store fresh fruits and vegetables in them.

“Many people have already become accustomed to carrying cloth bags in case they enter the supermarket, but often fill them up with small plastic bags in which they put every type of fruit or vegetable,” warns Bonneau . “Carrying small cloth covers for your fresh vegetables removes a lot of plastic from the trash, and food is much more appealing when you see it in these cases.”

2. Jars of all sizes

If you do not have a good reserve of jars, “start collecting them from now”, advises the expert. Choose jars that allow you to store food in the fridge, in the freezer and in cupboards, jars from which you can drink directly, jars to take food to work …

“I prepare many fermented-kimchi, gherkins in vinegar, sourdough, canned lemons, sauce-and I use jars for all these recipes,” explains Anne Marie Bonneau. “In addition, the jars help you avoid having your food go through, because being transparent you can see at a glance what you have in the fridge.” Opaque containers tend to agonize irremediably in the bottom of the refrigerator, because you can not see what’s inside and, by the time you remember they’re there, it’s usually too late. ”

3. A kit to get out prepared from home

If you leave it ready by the door of the house, you will remember to take it with you when you go out on the street. It will help you avoid a lot of garbage throughout the day.

Includes a bottle, a cup or both. That way you will not need to buy bottled water and you will avoid getting your coffee in disposable cups or other drinks with your container. Also put a jar to carry the leftovers and, if you have it ready, a jar to eat.

Do not forget the cloth napkin, metal cutlery and chopsticks.

4. Basic kitchen utensils

Removing garbage forces you to dispense with processed food and cook more. Now, you do not need sophisticated kitchen gadgets to cook; you can make delicious dishes without them.

How to organize to save time

If you think that all this requires a lot of organization, you are not misguided. But that does not mean you’re going to have to invest more time. With a little planning , you can actually save it.

For you to go to zero waste does not complicate your life anymore and, on the contrary, it simplifies you, Anne Marie Bonneau gives some recommendations:

  • Plan your meals in advance: it is not necessary to plan the whole week at a time, but to have a little foresight. If you plan a few days, you can buy everything you need and you will avoid last minute trips to the store. Having to go and find an ingredient that you need to make an improvised recipe at the last minute takes a lot of time.
  • Buy non-perishable products to have reserve: it will save you a lot of time not having to buy them every time you use them.
  • Cooking simple recipes: the delicious does not have to be complicated. With good fresh ingredients you can prepare good dishes without complicating your life.
  • Prepare what you can in advance: during the weekend you can go ahead and prepare some of the things that you will consume during the week. For example, you can cook a large pot of vegetables, leave a vinaigrette ready in a bottle to dress your salads or roast some vegetables to have them ready.
  • Make double or triple ration: if you get tired of eating the same thing several days in a row, do not stop doing more; You can freeze it and have your food ready for later.
  • If you turn on the oven, take advantage of it: once turned on, the best thing you can do to take advantage of the oven is to cook several things at once. It will save you time and electricity. While you are grilling your vegetables, you can bake a loaf or leave a lasagna ready for that moment or to freeze.
  • Involve others: if you have children, assign them some kitchen tasks. They need to learn to cook and they will surely eat more if they have prepared it. If you are a student and you share a flat, get organized with your classmates to cook by turns.

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