How to Make Your Kitchen Climatarian Friendly

You’ve decided to go full climatarian. You’re going to eat mostly plant-based, local foods that are good for you and good for the planet, and do everything you can to reduce food waste. Hooray! Now what? Looking around your kitchen, how do you start making everything as climatarian friendly as possible, and what do you actually need to start reducing food waste? Not to worry, we have some ideas. 

Waste Not

When eating for the climate, one of the most fundamental ideas is to not waste nutrients. When you’re making a change in your kitchen (or anywhere, really), it can be tempting to throw everything out that doesn’t align with your new vision and start fresh. If you have foods in your kitchen that don’t follow your new climatarian principles, though, please don’t throw them in the trash! Even though you may have foods that don’t fall within the climatarian ethos, do your best to use them up first. They may not be ideal foods, but they’re still nutrients and they’ve made it as far as your kitchen already, so do what you can not to waste them. If you really want them out of the house, consider donating your freezer and shelf-stable items to a local food pantry, or asking friends or neighbors if they could use the food items for themselves. 

Start Fresh

Alright, you’ve made arrangements to use your non-climatarian food items and committed to filling your kitchen with foods that are:

  • Local
  • Plant-based
  • Seasonal
  • Minimally processed

How do you go about it?  One of the easiest things you can purchase to help fill your kitchen with climatarian goodies is a local CSA produce box. CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” and allows customers to pay a farmer in advance for a certain number of “shares” throughout the growing season. For many vegetable farmers, these shares are weekly produce boxes, and the contents change as the growing season changes.  

CSA produce shares make it super easy to eat climatarian because it takes the guesswork out of purchasing local and seasonal items. Buying direct from a farmer ensures that the produce you’re receiving is local, and the produce you receive will automatically change with the season.  CSA subscriptions are also a great way to try new foods since it is typically up to the farmer what to include in the produce box each week. If you receive a type of produce you’re not sure how to cook, reach out to the farmer directly, they’re almost always happy to swap recipes.  

If a CSA produce subscription isn’t right for you, make your local farmer’s market a part of the weekly shopping trip.Head to the farmer’s market first, so you can purchase as much of your food as fresh and local as possible, then head to the grocery store for anything else you need to round out the weekly meals. 

Get the Right Tools

Besides actual food, there are a few more things you may want to invest in to make your kitchen as climatarian as possible. One of them is a quality compost container.  

Composting is an essential part of going climatarian. It allows you to make sure nutrients you can’t use in the kitchen don’t end up in a landfill wrapped in plastic, but are instead returned to the carbon cycle just as nature intended. Your kitchen is your canvas, though, and nobody wants smelly compost on the counter of their canvas.  

Composting containers give you a place to accumulate food scraps and other composting waste before taking it out to the compost pile. Many of them are made of ceramic or stainless steel, making them easy to clean, and are specifically designed to reduce or eliminate odor from your kitchen. Some of these compost containers are also designed to be used with compostable liners, making clean-up even easier.  

Creating less food waste by composting is important, but so is creating less waste in the kitchen in general. Since you’ll be buying more fresh food, invest in a set of reusable produce bags to bring home all your fresh veggies without relying on single-use plastics. If you find yourself using a lot of plastic baggies in your kitchen, switch to durable, washable bags you can use again and again.  

Easy, right? These simple but effective changes in our daily lives make a real difference when it comes to the planet’s health and the health of all of us that live here as a result. Taking the time to make your kitchen climatarian-friendly will make it easier for you to eat well for the planet day after day, and enjoy the process along the way. 

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