Create a Greener Kitchen: 5 Simple Steps toward Sustainability

Earth Day is every day, y'all! There's lots of ways to be environmentally-conscious stewards to our planet, and our favorite place to start is in our kitchen and with our dinner plates.

Eliminate Food Waste

Food waste creates a huge environmental toll. When a bruised apple goes in the trash, it's not just wasted food and money. Water and soil nutrients for growing, gasoline and packaging for transport, along with effort every step of the way are lost too. However, it's easy to keep food waste way down in your own kitchen!

  • Buy only what you need: It's hard to waste food you don't have! When you buy just what you need, there won't be leftover ingredients trapped in the back of the fridge (no moldy, slimy messes, either!). We'll keep sending you portioned ingredients to make dinner a no-brainer.
  • Freeze & preserve extra ingredients: If you see fresh ingredients that you can't not snag in bulk (u-pick berry farms are a personal weakness), freeze or preserve what you can't cook through. Foods high in fiber or sugar (think beans and berries) freeze great, as do herbs, meats, and fish. You're better off not freezing high-water-content foods, but don't worry: ingredients like cucumbers and onions make the best pickles and preserves!
  • Make delicious soups, salsas, and smoothies: Produce that's a day away from the trash or compost heap often has untapped potential. Drooping tomatoes make the most flavorful salsas and sauces; brown bananas the sweetest smoothies and breads! If it's too chilly for a smoothie, soft or bruised fruits make delicious pies. Unwanted greens? You'd be surprised at the flavorful combinations you can spin into pesto.

shrimp grits hands

Reuse & Recycle

A big side effect of buying portioned ingredients? A stack of plastic and cardboard that can quickly grow disheartening. Don't worry, there are steps you can take to lessen their environmental impact and even contribute to your community! We promise to focus on minimizing the environmental impact of our business by using as much recycled, recyclable and biodegradable packaging as possible. Our recycling program is a continuation of this effort to respect the planet.

  • Recycling: Did you know your can send all your PeachDish materials back to us? Print a shipping label and pop the box on your stoop and we'll take care of everything else. Many food packaging materials can be recycled curbside (pro-tip: DON'T bag your recyclables) or you can search online for a recycling center near you.
  • #RePeach: Many packaging materials can be reused in your home! Jars and plastic containers can be used for storage and organization, small bottles are great for travel, bags are great gift wrap, and ice packs are always a handy tool. For more creative ideas, check out #RePeach and tell us how you make the best use of extra materials.
  • Giving Back: Had enough #RePeaching in your home? Local organizations can use that packaging. Groups like Meals on Wheels, scout troops, or first-aid offices always need ice packs. Local farmers will reuse egg cartons and glass jars at their next market. Have dozens of bottles and jars? See if a school or daycare needs them for arts & crafts or experiments.

Smarter Appliances

  • Energy-efficient light bulbs: Energy-efficient light bulbs (like LEDs) can use up to 80% less energy than traditional bulbs! Shopping smart bulbs (including choosing the right shape and wattage) can save you money and help the planet. This technology has been around for longer than you might think, so these bulbs are quite inexpensive.
  • Use just enough: Cooking requires running appliances, but if you use just enough energy, the overall impact of a meal can go way down. Boiling water will always be 212 degrees, whether you've got the gas turned up to 11 or only high enough to keep the bubbles roiling. Thawing something in a hurry? Run it under cold water, but use a low stream.
  • Cook smarter, not harder: Blasting the oven in August at noon is sure to make everyone miserable. Save the oven for later in the day or in cooler months and save on A/C costs.

Cleaner Water

From the Clean Water Campaign: It is imperative to keep fats, oils and grease (F.O.G.) out of our pipes and sewer system. When washed down your kitchen sink, F.O.G. sticks to the walls of your pipes. Over time, buildup can completely block your plumbing or the sewer system and lead to costly sewage backups in your home or spills into nearby rivers and streams.

F.O.G. clogs are 100% preventable.Anything oil or dairy-based is consider a F.O.G., including meat greases, cooking oils (olive and coconut), dairy products (yes, ice cream and yogurt!), sauces, dressings and marinades.

  • Cool fats, oils and grease and place liquids in a container. Check to see if your community recycles grease. If grease recycling is not an option please put your F.O.G. container into the trash when it is full.
  • Scrape any solids into the trash & wipe plates and dishes completely.
  • Follow F.O.G. prevention protocol even if you have a garbage disposal. Disposals won’t eliminate F.O.G; they merely chop it up into smaller pieces.

Put Food Scraps to Work

  • Regrow food: Many fruits and vegetables can be “regrown” from stalks and stems. Lettuce, bok choy and cabbage can be regrown from their chopped hearts, snipped herbs like basil and mint will sprout roots when placed in a clear glass of water on a sunny windowsill for a few days, and mushrooms will regenerate themselves if their stalks are planted in soil. You’ll never need to buy green onions, leeks, and scallions again when you realize how quickly their zesty green shoots regrow from a cut-off base placed in a clear glass in the sun!
  • Make stock: Toss together your carrot peels, celery scraps, garlic and onion skins, potato peels, tomato skins, bones, and anything else you want to convert into a flavorful soup base. Simmer for several hours before straining the scraps out- the longer the better! Enjoy immediately or freeze for later if soup isn’t on the menu quite yet.
  • Compost: There are several composting methods, like hot and cold composting, backyard composting, and worm composting; the best one for you depends on how much you wish to compost and what kind of matter you wish to compost. A small, manageable compost bin set in the backyard will reward you with a good bit of healthy soil for a small garden or flower box.