There are so many options for eco-actions in the kitchen that everyone can find something that resonates! (Check my two earlier posts about sustainability in the kitchen 1, 2.) It is also good to remember that sustainability often means savings – money-wise. If you live with an eco-grumpy person who is not thrilled about your new or old eco-ideology, you can approach him with money-saving options.
Waste management and composting do not necessarily bring savings – that depends on where you live – but those have a remarkable impact on nature. In some states and cities, people pay more for mixed waste and less for recyclables and bio. In my home city, we pay for composting systems ourselves, but it has been worth it in some other ways.
By building a compost yourself or buying or getting composting as a service, you:
- Help to create new soil that is crucial for or Earth! We are running out of good-quality topsoil. That sounds funny but is a sad truth. Nine years ago, the estimation was that we have it left for 60 more years. Additionally, the soil has a meaningful role as a carbon sink! We don’t often hear people talking about that role because most of them are focusing on trees. Oceans as the carbon sinks get their credits on a good day.
- Prevent your organic waste from ending up in landfills where they would only create more greenhouse gases. It is not a great idea to burn it in incinerators either.
- When you separate your food and organic/biodegradable waste, you will see more clearly how much food waste your family creates. You will probably get shocked, so be prepared. In the end, that notice might bring some savings.
- Flies and their maggots are no longer interested in your curbside trash bin, and not even the hottest weather makes it stink. It is surprising, but our compost does not smell. The container closes so well that no odor gets out. Even raccoons – our trash pandas – have not been able to open the lid more than once.
- With some private composting services, you might be able to get back the material that your organic waste helped to create. It is valuable – worth of money – if you happen to have a garden or like to grow plants.
Make sure you know how to sort your trash. This step can be a hard one, even though it should not be. When you are trying to decide whether a plastic container goes to the recyclables or mixed trash, it sometimes feels so appealing to toss it into the “what-ever” -bin. Unfortunately, one wrong choice can destroy the whole batch of recyclables, so it is worth checking the regulations of your home town’s recycling policy and guidance.
Wasting energy is wasting money and natural resources.
Our utility costs are 400-900 dollars in a month. That is CRAZY! A lot of money for necessities such as electricity, gas, and water. There are many reasons why the costs are so high sometimes (check this post), and not all of them are up to us. However, there is room for some habit changes. Here are some ways to save money through water, electricity, and gas!
- Ice dispenser. If you are not a friend of ice, why let your fridge or freezer wasting energy for that. You would be surprised how much electricity this feature in your appliances takes! Many fridge and freezer models allow you to switch the dispenser off. Read more here.
- Hand dishes. Unfortunately, not all the crockery is a good match with dishwashers. As it is more common in the States -and in modern days – to have only one sink, we often rinse the dishes with running water. It is worth paying attention to how much water is running through the pipes for nothing.
- How many times in a day do you boil water? In a kettle or water boiler? Especially now when people mostly stay home. Boil more water in the morning. This way, you don’t need to boil it several times a day for all of your cups of teas and instant coffees. Overall, repeated tasks take energy repeatedly.
- When you cook, is the oven waiting for you empty and heated? Could you perhaps switch it off a bit earlier? Could your creations boil a bit more mildly?
Honestly, every time we are using energy, there is probably a way to do it a bit more efficiently. Optimization will take time, but when a sustainable action becomes a habit, it won’t steal our attention or time anymore. Observe the routines of your family, and you will notice where to pay attention and take action. Like I said at the beginning, we have so many options and ways to work for the Earth and the future that there are no reasons not to implement a few of those – at least.