Mindful dining has been gaining popularity for some time now, so if you haven’t made some adjustments for an eco-friendlier lifestyle, especially in the kitchen, you may be late to the party. There’s a lot of unnecessary waste that goes into hosting a dinner, even if it’s a small one.
If you have been thinking about being more environmentally friendly, here are some ideas on starting with baby steps. Keep in mind that the more you practice being eco-conscious, the easier it will become for you.
Use table linens
Paper napkins are one of those things that seem to be a needless source of waste. Using table linens and napkins is a great way to save on waste in your home. Usually, when you think of table linens, you think of outdated or too fancy; however, it doesn’t have to be either or in this day and age. Blue and green napkins are a fun way to gather at the table every night with or without a special occasion. Instead of throwing out napkins, you can wash these with your next load using cold water. You should also be aware of the material used when purchasing linen napkins. Some materials or the process in which they are made aren’t always environmentally friendly. Do your research and know what to look for.
You may have heard that washing dishes by hand saves more on water. This is false. The best way to save on water is to load up your dishwasher throughout the day so that all of your dishes get washed in one cycle. You’re wasting more water by having the water run as you scrape and soak each dish and pan. The best thing to do is to load the dishwasher at capacity and start the cycle.
If you don’t have a packed washer by the end of the day, you can save even more by washing two days’ worth of plates in one cycle the following day. This is also another reason why you should stay away from disposable flatware and dishes. It may seem easier to clean up by just throwing away plates. However, it’s creating more waste than necessary, especially if you plan on running the dishwasher that day.
Eat more plant-based food than meats
From a greenhouse gas emissions perspective, plant-based foods are significantly better for the environment. You don’t have to become a vegan to cut down on meat consumption. Incorporating more vegetables or plant-based meats at least one day a week allows you to have a hearty, healthier meal that’s better for the environment. Of course, the more meals you can do without meat is better. But it’s all about balance and portions on days where you’d like to have meat, cut down on your meat portions, and make the rest up in vegetables or plant-based options.
Subscribe to an eco-friendly meal kit service
Meal kits such as Green Chef allow you to order the ingredient kits needed to cook a delicious meal based on your lifestyle. Whether you’re on the ABC diet, are eating strictly plant-based, or have a more balanced living. You get to choose the clean meal plans to suit your lifestyle and budget. Whether it’s a meal for one or a dinner for a family, Green Chef meals are pre-measured and prepped to save you time.
Their packaging materials are also eco-friendly. Boxes are made of corrugated cardboard, so you can recycle them when done. Their insulation is made from a plant-based insulator making it easy to throw in the recycling with the box. To ship the ingredients fresh, they use non-toxic gel ice packs that you can save in your freezer to reuse or donate to your local charitable organization.
You can be more eco-conscious by cutting down on plastics such as what you use to store leftovers. Whether it’s containers or bags, avoiding the use of plastic trash bags, and even using environmentally friendly dish soap to clean up the dinner mess. Once you make these simple steps a routine, you’ll be living eco-conscious in no time.