There are plenty of good kitchen habits that can help us take better care of ourselves and our homes. Choosing the best of them will not only help us save some money but be well on track towards improving our health and living more sustainably.
Let’s find out which are the most effective ones below!
1. Grow Your Own Produce or Herbs
Growing your own produce and herbs in your own garden is one of the best kitchen habits you can practice to improve your health. Not only will you ensure the food you put on the table has much more nutritional value, but you will avoid consuming pesticides and also save money.
If starting your own garden isn’t an option where you live, purchasing food from your local farmer’s market is a better option than buying from a supermarket. The produce there doesn’t have to travel long distances, which reduces nutritional value as is the case with the food offered in supermarkets.
Growing your own herbs is another way to save money and make food taste even more delicious. Parsley, mint, rosemary, basil, thyme, and lemongrass are excellent indoor garden choices. To dry them, expose them to warm, dry air, and after that, you are ready to store them.
Compost is organic matter that helps plants grow and develop very high nutritional value. The benefits are thus enormous, and that’s why it’s one of the top recommendations for developing more eco-friendly kitchen habits.
The benefits of compost include:
It enriches the soil and helps it retain more moisture;
It reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and protects beneficial bacteria and fungi, which in turn create humus (which is rich in nutrients and allows you to grow high-quality produce);
It reduces methane emissions from landfills and helps you live more sustainably.
The basic ingredients are browns (dead leaves, branches, twigs), greens (grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps), and water. The compost pile ideally has to have equal amounts of browns to greens, which provide carbon and nitrogen. Water provides moisture which helps organic matter break down.
Some of the things you should never compost include:
Meat or fish bones
Yard trimmings with chemical pesticides
Coal or charcoal
To compost outside, it’s best to select a dry, shady spot near a water source, and to keep it moist, you should cover it with a tarp. If you do not have the space to make a composting pile outside, you can purchase a special type of bin at your local hardware/gardening store. Tend to it properly to ensure no foul smell or pests get attracted to it, and within 2-5 weeks, your compost will be ready.
3. Clean Sustainably
Cleaning more sustainably means not using chemicals but eco-friendly products that are not hazardous to you and your family’s health. The good news is that green cleaning products are non-toxic and biodegradable, and they achieve the same results as conventional ones – plus, they won’t cost you extra!
For people with pets in their homes, it’s even more important to adopt this approach, for they are really sensitive to chemicals (even essential oils), and using green cleaning methods will ensure your fur babe’s health is protected.
By choosing to clean sustainably, you will also ensure there are much fewer chemicals released into the environment and that less packaging will end up in the landfill, which will aid the planet greatly.
4. Use Natural Air Fresheners Or Plants
Keeping your home smelling fresh is always important; however, lots of conventional air fresheners might contain potentially harmful ingredients (VOCs) and should be discarded in favor of using DIY homemade fresheners.
To create a good air freshener, you can use baking soda, which is known to absorb odors. Fill an empty mason jar with water, and add in the baking soda and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Use that to deodorize your kitchen sink every night, or spray the mixture over carpets and rugs before you vacuum to eliminate unpleasant smells.
Many people also keep an open baking soda bag inside their fridge to ensure there are no bad odors.
Here are some good ideas to keep your home smelling great:
Clean your garbage disposal regularly
Freshen up carpets and rugs (especially if you have a pet)
Use aroma candles
Get houseplants such as jasmine, eucalyptus, or lavender
Freshen up your air vents
5. Clean Your Oven Regularly
Cleaning your oven every 2-3 months is another way to keep your kitchen clean and ensure a healthier lifestyle.
A dirty oven not only makes food taste worse but also consumes more electricity, which contributes to your utility bills. On top of that, the more energy it uses, the more likely it is for the oven to break down as the internal components will melt.
A dirty oven is also another great excuse for landlords not to give your deposit back when you’re moving out. That’s why it might be a good idea to deep clean your oven prior or hire professionals who could do that for you.
To extend the lifespan of your appliance, it’s also important to clean it properly. Never spray the cleaning agent directly onto the inside of the oven, or you might damage the electrical components. Instead, spray directly onto a microfiber cloth and only then proceed with the cleaning.
6. Cook Sustainably
To develop more eco-friendly kitchen habits and to aid the environment as well, you can also learn to cook more sustainably. This means paying more attention to what we consume, how we prepare it, and also how we use the leftovers.
First and foremost, to cook more sustainably, you must consider where you buy your food from. You will have a much more positive impact on your health, as well as on the environment if, instead of supermarkets, you get most of your food from your local farmers’ market.
Next, when it comes to our eating habits, it’s recommended to eat more plants than meat and dairy products. Not only do greens contain lots of nutrients and minerals, but they also contain fiber, which aids intestinal peristalsis.
Meat production has been linked to the creation of greenhouse gasses, which are the main reason for climate change. On top of that, consuming meat can have many adverse health effects in the long run, and if it can’t be eliminated, should be reduced in favor of greens.
Many people also buy food in bulk, only to throw away some of it later. That’s why, to avoid waste, it’s important to plan your shopping and meals beforehand. Utilize kitchen scraps whenever you can as well. That way, you can reduce food waste significantly and live a lot more sustainably.
Don’t forget that you can also freeze some of your food or leftovers. Just remember not to do it in plastic bags (which contain BPA). Instead, use mason jars or glass containers (filled only up towards ¾ to assure the liquid has space to expand and to avoid shattered glass).
Having good kitchen habits means living a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. Regardless of which ones you choose to implement in your daily routine, know that they will quickly start improving your health and aid the environment.
That’s why, even if it’s just one or two habits, pick something and implement it, and you will soon see how much of a positive difference even a small change can make!
Do you practice any of these kitchen habits? Share with us in the comments!
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