Whether you prepare three full meals a day or you’re a take-out queen — chances are, you spend some time in the kitchen. Which means, it’s a great place to turn eco-conscious actions into everyday habits!
Here are some simple ways to be the most eco-friendly cook — from freezing food to picking “ugly” produce. After all, doesn’t food taste better when it’s made mindfully? 🌎
25 simple ways to be the most eco-friendly cook
1. Shop local. You’ve probably heard this a million times. That’s because it’s true ! Eating local food is better for the Earth. There’s less transportation, packaging, and overall resources involved.
2. Don’t be afraid to freeze food. The extra cold temperatures will keep food edible for longer, which will help you avoid wasting food.
3. Love your leftovers. That delicious quinoa dish you made for dinner will be just as good the next day!
4. Consider chopping food into smaller portions. This will help food heat up quicker → less energy used.
5. Get creative in the kitchen! Here are some of our favorite recipes that make use of food that often goes bad quickly or goes uneaten.
- Bananas = No Bake Banana Bars
- Avocado = Avocado Toast
- Blueberries= Blueberry Bubblegum Smoothie
- Tofu = Quinoa Fried Rice
- Almond milk = Easy Vegan Alfredo
- Miscellaneous veggies = Vegan Nacho Pizza
- Cauliflower = Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
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7. Use your dishwasher (if you have one!). Hand washing dishes typically involves more water than dishwashing. And while you’re at it, fill your dishwasher all the way up with dirty dishes before you turn it on.
8. Choose durable & reusable products over single-use. We love bamboo spoons, stainless steel cookware, and cork cutting boards.
9. Question pre-heating. According to Epicurious, if your dish involves eggs or flour, pre-heating is probably necessary. If not, you may not need to wait around. Less energy, less waiting. Win, win!
10. Be mindful of your water use. Try not to leave the faucet on unnecessarily.
11. Ditch paper towels. A cloth towel can do the same job and be reused many more times.
12. Compost food scraps.
13. Clean with toxic-free products like vinegar and baking soda. Do you prefer a more traditional household cleaner? Check out Ecover products.
14. Pick naked produce. You’ll save Mother Earth from all that plastic waste!
15. Try your best to keep your fridge clean. This will help you know what to eat before it goes bad and prevent you from buying things you already own.
16. Store food in plastic-free containers. Mason jars, glass containers, reusable food wraps, and reusable silicone zip lock bags are all eco-friendly ways to store food with the planet in mind.
17. Remember your reusable bag!
18. Take advantage of toaster ovens. Conventional ovens use a lot of energy, so if you don’t need to use one, try not to.
19. Cook with the lid on. This will help reduce the overall cooking time and lower your energy use.
20. Keep your fridge door closed as much as possible. We know it’s tempting to just stare at food when contemplating what to eat for dinner, but try to resist!
21. Meal prep. If you cook once and eat three times = lots of energy saved. Go you! Here are 5 lunches you can prep in advance for the best week ever. And don’t miss this post with absolutely everything you need to know about meal planning.
22. Pick “ugly” produce. Lots of funny-looking or “ugly” produce gets tossed even though it’s perfectly healthy.
23. Unplug small appliances when they aren’t in use. Coffee machines and toaster ovens, we’re looking at you.
24. Throw out less food. One third of the food produced in the world is wasted for various reasons. Of that, fruits and veggies have the highest wastage rates. Here are 8 simple ways to reduce food waste.
25. Love your plants! Whether you’re a plant-based eater already or considering starting Meatless Mondays, eating more plants and less meat is an awesome way to show Mother Earth you care.
Want to learn more ways to live a more eco-friendly life? Check out these reads:
- Here are 31 ways to be plastic-free for every day of the month
- Want an eco-friendly diet makeover? Here’s how to make it happen
- 5 ways to be more mindful of your palm oil use
- 8 real ways you can save the Amazon Rainforest now