The kitchen is arguably the heart of any home. It’s also likely the area in your household that creates the most waste. From soft plastic packaging to food scraps and takeout containers, kitchen waste can often seem like the final frontier of living sustainably. Here are five simple tips from the recycling gurus at TerraCycle on ways to reduce your kitchen waste.
- Make the most of what you buy
According to National Geographic, one-third of the food we produce ends up in landfill every year. Do your best to reduce food waste at home by storing fruit and vegetables properly and using leftovers before buying new.
Herbs – store them like a bunch of flowers in a glass of water in your fridge.
Vegetables – keep your veggies crunchy and fresh by wrapping them in a damp tea towel.
Fruit – chuck any ripe or overripe fruit in the freezer and add them to your smoothies or defrost them for baking.
- Coffee Capsules
As coffee machine and pod sales continue to boom, so does their environmental footprint. The most responsible way to dispose of these items is to recycle them through TerraCycle. Programs for L’affare, NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® and L’Or, Moccona, illy and Jed’s coffee capsules can be found by visiting their program pages on our website and signing up to collect.
Now the material of choice for manufacturers, plastic packaging has become ubiquitous in our supermarkets. Increasingly however, the complexity and difficulty in separating out the different materials of many plastic products has made them increasingly difficult to recycle, but not altogether impossible. Plastic pouches for example, are another item that TerraCycle accepts in their programs for The Collective and Sealord products.
- Soft Plastic
To recycle food storage waste, simply log on to the TerraCycle website and head to the GLAD Food Storage Recycling Programme which accepts all brands of Snap Lock® bags, zip slide bags, food storage containers and cling wrap. The program also accepts GLAD’s new range of plant based cling wrap and snap lock bags.
Another way to responsibly dispose of soft plastic packaging in New Zealand is to drop it into the Love NZ bins in supermarkets. Almost anything soft and scrunchy, from chip packets through to bubble wrap can be collected and dropped off instore at hundreds of locations around the country. To find your nearest drop off location, you can search by region here.
- Compost food Scraps
The best way to reduce waste in your kitchen is to start home composting. You don’t even need a garden to begin – there are many community gardens hosted on The Compost Collective who allow you to drop off your waste. To compost food scraps from home, start collecting them in a stainless steel bin and make sure you keep the lid on to reduce any odour. GLAD have just released a new home compostable kitchen caddy liner made using 30% renewable material cornstarch to help you divert food waste from landfill.
Do you have any kitchen secrets of your own? Let us know in the comments below!