Ways to be more environmentally friendly in the kitchen
Six tips for being an eco-warrior in the kitchen!
With the effects of the climate crisis already being felt across the world, more of us than ever are trying to pursue more sustainable lifestyles and reduce our impact. Recent data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey revealed that Britons have changed their diets on mass, cutting meat consumption by 17%. While rethinking our diet is a step in the right direction there are additional ways we can all help reduce our carbon footprint that also start in the kitchen. Raffi Schieir, Director and Co-Founder of Bantam Materials, the supplier of Prevented Ocean Plastic, shares his advice for sustainable swaps we can all make today…
1. Recycle right
According to WRAP, 89% of UK households regularly recycle, but 80% of us are recycling wrong - adding items to our recycling bins that aren’t accepted locally. This might not sound too bad, but many of us are unaware that putting non recyclable items in our recycling bins can mean your entire recycling will be disposed of, rather than recycled. Make sure you’re recycling properly and take time to understand some of the most frequently used on-pack logos.
Recycle. An item is recyclable when it features this logo. The ‘recycle’ logo is
a rectangle containing a green square with an arrow forming an almost
circle. The dead giveaway is the word ‘recycle’ featured at the bottom of the
logo. This logo will appear on items collected by at least 75% of local authorities.
The Mobius Loop. This logo appears on items that are capable of being recycled, though it may not be accepted by all authorities. Three white arrows make a triangle. If a product contains recycled content a percentage figure will be
shown in the middle to explain the percentage of recycled material the
The Green Dot. A common logo that means the producer has made a
financial contribution towards the recovery and recycling of packaging in
Europe. It does not, however, mean it can be recycled!
2. Say no to single-use plastics
Plastics have a significant impact on our environment, with a paper from the Zoological Society of London and Bangor University in September 2021 revealing that plastic and climate change crises exacerbate each other, and so must be tackled together. Wherever possible we should avoid unnecessary single-use plastics. In the kitchen, you can invest in reusable beeswax wraps or metal Tupperware instead of single-use cling film which is not recyclable. You can also replace other throwaway plastic items, like plastic straws, by using reusable metal straws, and cotton tote bags instead of plastic bags.
3. Choose recycled
Whilst we can all try to cut down on single-use plastic, some food items continue to come in plastic to help prevent contamination and extend shelf-life. What you can do, is buy products in recycled plastic packaging, rather than new plastic.
Recycled plastic has a lower impact on the environment than new plastic – its carbon footprint is smaller and by choosing it you know recycling has already happened. Recycled plastic packaging should be identifiable on pack, either through stating that it’s made from recycled content and what percentage.
4. Look out for the Prevented Ocean Plastic logo
Prevented Ocean Plastic is award-winning recycled plastic material made from waste plastic collected from coastal areas at risk of ocean plastic pollution. Choosing Prevented Ocean Plastic means you are stopping plastic bottles from polluting the oceans and damaging the environment and wildlife; reducing CO2 emissions by cutting the use of virgin plastic; helping to ensure a reliable income for people working in developing countries; and supporting culture change for better standards in plastic recycling. You can spot products packaged in Prevented Ocean Plastic by looking out for its distinctive blue logo on pack.
5. Fight food waste
Wasted food has a significant impact on our environment. All the energy, fuel and water that went into its production is wasted. As it decomposes in landfill it also emits greenhouse gases which have a significant impact on climate change, causing heat to be trapped in our atmosphere.
6. Clean green
We all know that keeping the kitchen clean is important for our health, but are your kitchen cleaning habits harming the planet? There are lots of sustainable swaps you can make when it comes to cleaning. Reusable products for example, like Ocean Saver’s Eco-Drops. These are concentrated cleaning solutions that you place in a reusable Prevented Ocean Plastic bottle and add water. Switching out your plastic washing up brush for a bamboo one is another simple but effective way you can be greener in the kitchen.