6 Habits That Helped Me Master Everyday Sustainability in the Kitchen

18 Feb 2022

 

As the effects of climate change become more pronounced and glaringly obvious, each of us is striving to do our best to work towards net zero.

Turns out our daily activities are a huge contributor to overall carbon emissions, and minor changes in our daily routines can help reduce emissions further, help us eat and live ‘cleaner’. 

Here’s a few changes I made: 

1. Drinking water instead of other beverages: Obviously, because water is the best liquid for us. However, the amount of plastic waste generated due to beverages is insane. Beverages in cans are better than those in bottles, since cans are easily recyclable – however, nothing beats good ol’ water! 

2. Making my own yoghurt: Not only do I save money, but I can control what goes into my yoghurt! This reduces plastic waste and keeps me from ingesting unnecessary preservatives. As someone who’s trying to cut off dairy, I find vegan yogurt quite hard to come by. All you need is a ‘starter’ yogurt – set aside a teaspoon of pre-made yogurt of your choice, heat your ‘milk’ of choice (I like using coconut milk for the healthy fats), let your milk cool a little, mix in the spoon of yogurt, and leave overnight to set.  Works like a charm! 

3. Making my own juices at home and using the leftover pulp: A quick blitz with water in an everyday blender is good to make a good juice and turns out to be cheaper than buying juice in plastic cups. The bonus? Using the leftover pulp to either make cakes (fruit pulp) or savoury pancakes (vegetable pulp).  

4. Using plant-based milk for coffee, tea, and smoothies: Reducing the use of dairy products is one of the major changes that can help reduce our carbon footprint, but it’s also easier on the stomach for many people. 

P.S.: You can also make your own plant-based milk at home with your ingredients of choice and reduce your footprint even further! 

5. Ensure all spice jars/oil canisters are refillable: It may not seem so important but imagine the kind of waste we create when we throw out bottles of essentials like chili flakes or other spices! I try to buy items in glass jars whenever possible and reuse these jars to store spices and other ingredients rather than (i) spending money on buying new jars or (ii) creating more waste.  

P.S.: i. Buy herbs/spices in packets so you can transfer them to jars at home  

        ii. Purchase from bulk bins so you can transfer them directly to jars 

6. Plan your Meals ahead: Buying groceries without any plans on what to make with it led to a lot of food wastage, until I set out to make a meal plan for myself. I thought of the cuisines I would like to have, chalked a rough idea (keeping some space for items I would find on clearance) - incorporating these items into my plan, to reduce waste (and save some dollars) 😀 This has pushed me to try new recipes and flavours!

Of course, these are just a few ideas and there are many more things to incorporate into our daily lives to achieve net zero! But taking the first step is the most important thing each of us can do! Start now and let Adva help you in your sustainability journey! 

Written By
Avni

Currently an intern, Avni came over to sunny Singapore to further her studies and is a firm believer of sustainable practices.