Little things I’ve changed . . .

Little things I’ve changed in my kitchen habits to save the planet

Sometimes it seems impossible to make a change that might have an affect in saving our planet and reversing the damage that is causing climate change.

Well it is impossible; impossible on our own.

Most changes have to come from governments. Or do they?

If we all think about little changes, our collective efforts are then bigger. If we change what we buy and stop wasting what we have, we can make bigger changes than we think we can.

We must have faith.

We must have hope

We must do what we can within what we can afford.

Things I have changed

Eggs- a simple affordable change. I buy free range eggs that are mixed sizes. Mixed sizes because that’s how chicken lay them. If we only buy just one size then the producers have problems with what to do with the sizes we haven’t bought. I buy free range because it is kinder for the hens.

Veggies- I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan. I’m not about to tell you to be one or not to be one either. I was a vegetarian for many years in my late teens. Long before it was trendy.

We are flexitarian. We mainly eat vegetables with very reduced meat content. When we eat meat it is more special. Eating more veggies, mainly fresh veggies, has meant more veggies waste for the compost heap, so better for the garden. Being flexitarian, means I can eat more local and British produce food. Better for the climate and U.K. jobs. This way I know I’m eating food grown in the U.K. for humans and not using food with long air miles or from areas of the planet that have destroyed habitat for its production. We still use some international products like coffee and rice, but very few.

Compost- all kitchen waste is not wasted. Food scraps, which are very few, are fed to the dogs. All uncooked vegetables trimming, plain paper, teabags, spent coffee waste egg boxes and sometimes eggs shells. Are all placed in the kitchen caddy and taken to the garden compost bins, where they are mixed with grass clippings and other green waste.

Tea bags – we sometimes use just tea leaves. But for ease of use we normally use tea bags. These we changed to fully compostable as some contain plastic.

Coffee- fresh coffees made in a coffee pot and NEVER with the use of coffee pods. To clear out the coffee pot, I rinse it with cold water and tip the full contents onto several layers of kitchen paper in the sink. I leave to drain, then fold and place into the compost caddy.

Veg boxes- are not for everyone. If you can get them and they work for you. Then do it. Just remember to ask if what you’re paying extra for, is locally produced. It didn’t end up working for us, but we gave it a try. The same was with milk and a milkman.

Milk – I now buy organic milk from, yes the supermarket. I buy organic milk because that’s one organic product that is affordable to the low fixed income household. I buy from the supermarket because I live in an area, like so many others I don’t have any other affordable options.

What we can do in regards to shopping at a supermarket, is to optimise our visiting or delivery to as large a load as possible to reduce visiting the store or unnecessary deliveries. Therefore cutting back on journeys.

Trying to save the planet is all about personal balance. One size does not fit all. For many, a daily or bi-daily delivery of milk is not only affordable but environmentally doable. When nearly everyone in the street has the same milkman then it is a real green option. However my milkman was only delivering to me in our village on Monday’s and one other on Wednesday and Friday, so his carbon footprint for delivery was huge. His changes for delivery didn’t even cover what he did. So he became unreliable due to him not being able to afford my delivery. If he’d put his delivery costs up then I would not have been able to afford it. My supermarket delivery is a saver slot and currently they deliver everything, (one delivery fee, one delivery so low on carbon footprint). In other words they work out the most economically and therefore environmentally friendly way of delivering.

Water – we have a water meter fitted. It has cut our bills by two thirds and we are far more careful of what we use. Water is indeed free from the sky, and so we have water butts to catch the rain water. Fresh drinking water that we get from our taps, comes at a huge cost to the environment and should be treated as a valuable commodity.

Cooking food – I try and make as many meals in one pot. If you add the ingredients in stages you’ll not over cook more delicate stuff. This saves on washing up and energy. If I use the oven I try and cook the whole meal in it. It’s amazing what you can cook in an oven especially if you have covered oven dishes. If I’ve space in the oven I fill the empty shelves with some baking that can be stored in the freezer if not needed for now.

Plastic – yes it’s a useful resource. Storage containers with a lid are excellent for keeping leftovers fresh or for long term storage in the freezer. Don’t shy away from this useful material. Reuse the containers from shop products too. I save all jars, as when the season is right I can make preserves and chutney. Reuse whatever you can. So long as a jar or container has been cleaned, it really doesn’t matter if it doesn’t match your colour scheme.

Up cycle all you can as it saves resources. Remember there is no such thing as throwaway, just land fill.

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