10 Things You Can Do to Be an Eco-Friendly Home Cook
Kick-start this year's Earth Day by starting eco-friendly cooking habits!
Earth Day is almost here and doing your part to save our planet can start in your own home. You can shut out your lights for Earth Hour, but small habits done on a long-term basis can effect change much more than you can imagine. Be kind to Mother Earth, and learn from our experts and see how you can turn your kitchen into an eco-friendly space.
1 Source smart.
“Whether you’re shopping for produce or meat, these questions should guide you: Where did my food come from? Who grew it? How was it grown? How was it harvested? Ideally, your answers should point to local, natural, and sustainable sources,” says Hindy Weber, co-founder of Holy Carabao Farms.
2 Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables.
“It takes far less resources to produce fruits that are in season because you’re simply following the natural life cycle of plants,” explains Gregg Yan, PR and Communications manager for World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - Philippines. “You’ll get produce at their freshest, when flavor is at its prime; at more affordable prices; and without disrupting nature.”
3 Use toxic-free cookware.
“Studies have shown that a number of nonstick pans release cancer-causing chemicals, so it’s best to pick steel, glass, or ceramic cookware,” says Hindy.
4 Use residual heat.
“Noodles, corn, vegetables, and cheese can be cooked using residual heat once the stove is turned off,” says JR Trani, chef of Earth Kitchen.
5 Choose locally-sourced oils for cooking.
“The Philippines is so rich in coconuts that it almost makes no sense to use corn and canola oil,” says Harvie De Baron, nutritionist and founder of the Baron Method.
6 Use toxin-free, natural cleaning products.
“White distilled vinegar diluted in water makes a great disinfectant for wiping down countertops. Don’t have time to D-I-Y? Pick an eco-friendly line of home-cleaning products over commercially produced, chemical-laden ones,” says Hindy.
7 Use a water basin when you wash.
“Take it from our ancestors who didn’t have running water—soaking your dishes in soapy water instead of running water consumes less water,” explains Gregg. “Rinsing them will be quicker and more efficient. It’ll save you time, effort, and money!”
8 Say goodbye to plastic.
“Go for glass containers over plastic ones. They’re very versatile—they provide safer storage for your food; offer an excellent visual of what’s inside, making it easier to identify what’s in your fridge; and can be used for marinating meat and seafood,” says Harvie.
9 Say “no” to canned tomatoes, mushrooms, and corn.
“Stewing fresh tomatoes takes so little time, and you can spice it up with your own herbs,” says Pat Gallarado-Dwyer, founder of sustainability consultation firm The Purpose Business. “Make a huge pot, use some for spaghetti sauce, and freeze the rest for another day’s afritada. Fresh mushrooms sautéed with garlic and onions are not only cheaper, healthier, and have no preservatives; they taste much better than the canned variety, too.”
10 Support community agriculture.
“Patronize products from stores and brands that put a premium on sustainable farming and fair trade. They may cost a bit more, but they’re worthy investments,” says Gregg.
Article originally published in the April 2016 issue of Yummy magazine. Minor edits have been made by Yummy.ph editors.