If you’re looking to green your home, one of the easiest places to make changes is in the kitchen – your pantry specifically. I’ve been trying to cut out (or really cut down) on packaging altogether this year, but even if you have a big goal, there are other, smaller changes you can make more easily and quickly.
An eco-friendly kitchen pantry should have some (or most) of the following traits…
- Bulk food items that you purchased using reusable bulk bags and containers. Bulk food can help you cut out a massive amount of packaging, especially if you use reusable bulk bags. Most eco-grocers, co-ops and even conventional grocers have large bulk sections with everything from organic spices to flour to cereal to dried fruit to pasta and much more. In fact you can even get natural peanut butter and honey in bulk at most decent co-ops.
- Large, not small packages. The larger the package the better the eco-footprint (in most cases). For example, one large jar of tomatoes or a huge box of crackers will actually use less packaging per amount of food than a small can of tomatoes or small box of crackers.
- No food items in double and triple packaging. It’s nonsense to buy a box of cookies that’s sitting in a tray, wrapped in plastic, then placed in a box. WAY too much packaging.
- No individually wrapped items, such as fruit snacks, granola bars, seasoning, crackers for kids, and candy. These can all be found in larger packages or in bulk.
- Bottles and jars with pop-up safety caps – a much better deal than shrink wrapped caps.
- Glass bottles of condiments, vegetables, soup, juice and other foods instead of food that comes in plastic or cans.
- A decent amount of the food you buy should be organic, local and in season.
- Your pantry should contain plenty of whole foods and real ingredients vs. prepackaged, processed foods. Simple food staples such as brown rice or plain noodles are better than overly processed rice mixes and noodle mixes for instance.
What’s in your pantry right now? Could it be greener?