In most households, we see waste like packaging and food leave the kitchen and unnecessarily go to landfills. Apart from these, there are so many more wastes like micro plastics and harmful chemicals that leave via trash and water without our realisation. As we move towards wanting organic ingredients, what can you do to return only good things back to nature, while reducing your waste?
Wet waste, thrown out in plastic bags or the like and if not separated, often lands up in landfills. This causes unnecessary emission of greenhouse gases and leachates. While some of the wet waste can be leveraged as a resource, the rest of it is best composted.
Apart from it helping you reduce the carbon footprint, it is the way of returning the good to the soil. It also lowers the need for fertilisers and pesticides which are full of chemicals.
Composting might sound difficult and disgusting at first thought, but it's actually the opposite. You can either make your own composter or buy a kit to get started. All you have to do is make sure to have a layer of a compost maker above and below your wet waste. The compost-maker usually contains coco peat and good microbes. And voila, you will have the compost ready in a couple of months. If you are not convinced yet, wait until you see random seeds from the wet waste growing into plants because there is so much good in the compost.
2. Natural scrubbers
Usual kitchen scrubbers, made of sponge or net, are actually made of plastic. Some others are made of stainless steel. However, what both have in common is that they wear out over time and small particles leach into vessel corners or into the water, polluting it. Finally, they may or may not be recycled, based on how mixed they are with foods and oils. This means that they might be thrown into landfills.
Natural scrubbers, made of natural sponge (dried vegetable core) or coconut coir are the best alternatives. This keeps harmful chemicals away from the vessels and water. Any small particles that break away can be collected and composted. It can also end its life in the compost.
3. Plastic free and natural dish wash
Dish wash liquids usually come in plastic bottles while soaps come in packets made of plastic or paper laminated with plastic. The packaging itself creates unnecessary waste. If made of chemicals, it might stay on the utensil corners and enter the water while polluting it.
Natural dish wash is the best alternative. There are lots of soaps available without any packaging – naked!
If you are looking for a liquid, there are a lot of powder to liquid alternatives that come plastic free. All you have to do is mix the powder with water and let it sit for a while until it's ready. You could also take your old bottles to low waste stores and refill from their dispenser.
When asked about how to have a low waste kitchen, Abhinav Apte, a consultant in water, waste and energy says, “Firstly, we avoid wasting food as much as possible. In case something does remain, we feed it to the cattle and anything that remains goes into the compost."
Won’t you too, work towards making your kitchen more sustainable?
(Heena Shah is an avid traveller and covers topics such as sustainable travel and lifestyle. Got comments, suggestions? Contact: Explorer.firstname.lastname@example.org)