If you search google for “zero waste” and “zero waste kitchen”, as of today, you will get 2,270,000 and 7,270 hits respectively. The zero waste ethos is a hot topic and folks are starting to look more deeply at how this concept can be applied to the kitchen.
I would liken zero wasting to veganism. To achieve a truly zero waste kitchen, you need to be committed, driven and have plenty of time on your hands. But, as with vegetarianism, waste reduction falls on a continuum – from the thoughtless and wasteful who use disposable plates and cutlery on a daily basis (yes, those people really exist) to the truly admirable likes of Lauren Singer, a young woman whose last 2 years of landfill waste fit into a single mason jar.
But every little bit helps and I guess each of us just need to decide where we fall on this scale, and do what we can to reduce our contribution to that revolting global pile of trash, and minimise our impact on the Earth’s precious environment and finite resources.
Although I absolutely NEVER throw away food – those carrots can be soaked in water to restore their vigour, cut the furry bits off the cheddar, loose veg at the market never go in their own plastic bag – I consider myself a complete amateur when it comes to waste reduction.
I’ve gotta start somewhere, so I think it’s time for back to basics – every time I open the kitchen bin, I will ask:
What did I do to create that waste?
I’m sure from that will fall some obvious waste reduction ideas. You can find helpful advice for ingenious and resourceful approaches waste reduction on some great sites:
Embarrassingly, I don’t compost. I’ve always used that we rent as my excuse. Not good enough. So I need to get out in the garden to sort that out. But please forgive me if it takes a few weeks to get to it – bloody freezing in Melbourne at the moment.