Single-Use Plastic: How To Reduce Your Usage In The Kitchen.

Single-use plastic usage is at an all time high. In the UK it is estimated that five million tonnes of plastic is used every year, nearly half of which is packaging.

Whilst some brands and organizations have fought to introduce eco-friendly packaging for produce, most items you’ll find in the supermarkets are still suffocated in single-use plastic wrap.

Some organisations have shifted the pressure off of the individual, and created ways to reduce the consequences that plastic causes such as seabins.

But why should we, as a society, continue to contribute to the problem just because there is a solution, when we could so easily eliminate the problem as a whole

There are some great ways to reduce your use of single-use plastics in the Kitchen without breaking the bank.

Reduce your need to use excess plastic packaging

Refuse excessive packaging by taking your own bags to the supermarket.

Many zero-waste shops and pop-ups allow you to buy fresh, unwrapped produce that you can carry in your own containers, so you can shop without adding to the single-use plastic crisis!

Can’t find the products you love with less packaging? Buy in bulk! This is particularly useful if you’re used to buying individually wrapped goods. Try to buy items with the highest volume of actual product, with the least amount of plastic packaging.

Don’t add to the crisis at home!

So, you’ve reduced the amount of plastic in the products that you buy.

More than 1.2 billion metres of single-use cling film is used and disposed of by households across Britain every year, and like plastic bags, cling film which ends up in the sea is easily confused for jellyfish by marine animals and chokes turtles and other creatures that feed on them.

Beeswax wraps are a brilliant alternative to cling film, allowing you to wrap up your food and keep it fresh for longer, without the environmental detriments.

Or, invest in some Tupperware, or reuse old food containers and jars to store your leftovers. This way you can reduce your personal contribution to the use of single-use plastic, whilst also reducing the amount of food you waste!

How to be more Eco-Friendly this January

It’s the beginning of a new Year, and what better time to shift your old lifestyle into something better for both you and the environment. With your new bout of motivation, why not put it to use and make this easy switches this January towards a more eco-friendly way of living.


Let’s start off with what seems like the most drastic change to make. Following a Vegan diet has been described as the single biggest way to reduced your environmental impact on Earth. Cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73 percent, as well as it having so many ethical benefits.

A Vegan diet consists of one free from animal produce or meat, relying solely on natural, plant-based ingredients.

If you’re worried about making the change, January is the best time to go Vegan, as many supermarkets often bring out brilliant plant-based alternatives at this time to celebrate and encourage consumers to make the change!

Try a “No-buy” January – Borrow instead.

This is also a great way to ease off the January pinch we often feel after our Christmas shopping binge!

Challenge yourself this January to lay off the unnecessary spending, reducing your spendings to only consumerables. How often do we buy something, use it once, then put it away for it never to see the light of day again? The global fashion industry is generating a lot of greenhouse gases due to the energy used during its production, manufacturing, and transportation of the millions garments purchased each year, with the cheap synthetic fibers found in fast-fashion purchases emitting gases like N2O, which are 300 times more damaging than CO2.

Why not give your wallet and the planet a break by halting all your materialistic purchases this month? If you find yourself wanting to buy something, check out a local charity shop, or borrow from a friend instead. The use of second-hand products are extremely forgiving on the environment, saving said product from landfill!

Reduce your energy consumption

In the cold, dark, winter months, this can be quite a challenge. But it only takes 21 days to form a habit, so why not use January as the month to turn over a new leaf.

Did you know that 20% of global electricity consumption comes from lighting? This can easily be reduced by switching off lights when you’re not in the room, reducing both your energy bills and this statistic staggeringly. In the long term, or if money isn’t so tight, LED lights are a great switch to make. LED’s can be up to 90% more energy efficient when compared to conventional lighting!

Another quick and easy switch to make, is making sure your electrical products are turned off and unplugged when not in use. Never leave something in standby mode!

DIY Cleaning Products

Did you know how easy it is to make your own cleaning products?

Many of the chemicals found in domestic cleaning products are toxic to our environment and its wildlife. Homemade alternatives made from ingredients such as white vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice can be just as effective as commercial products and a lot more eco-friendly!

This January, be kinder to the environment and give this a go. It’ll not only save the environment, but can also be made with ingredients you probably already own!

Feeding your family the Eco-Friendly way

When feeding your family, keeping them full and healthy isn’t the only thing that should be sustained.

Saving the planet and our environment are also important factors to consider when cooking for you and your family. Here are some easy switches that you can make to benefit both you, your family and the environment.

1. Buy Local Produce

Food miles are one of the main things to consider when trying to maintain an Eco-Friendly diet. Reducing food miles helps to alleviate our reliance on fossil fuels.  The fewer miles from farm to table, the better. Organic food from across the globe may taste better in the middle of winter, but consider the pollution caused by flying them to wherever you are. 

Instead, shop local!

Supporting local businesses has many benefits; shopping from small, local stores helps to keep them in business and buying from local farms preserves the farmland. Without small scale farms, the land might otherwise be developed for industrial or commercial use. Additionally, farmland attracts other types of biodiversity and gives animals, insects, and birds a place to live and thrive.

To keep food even more local, how about growing some yourself?

Growing your own food is an eco-friendly way of introducing new herbs and foods into your diet and the its even better since you grow it yourself. It’s easy to plant herbs and vegetables in your garden, or if you don’t have one, how about this brilliant indoor kitchen herb garden?

2. Increase your home cooked meals

When you prepare your own meals, you have more control over the ingredients. By cooking for yourself, you can ensure that you and your family eat fresh, wholesome meals. This can help you to look and feel healthier, boost your energy, stabilize your weight and mood, and improve your sleep and resilience to stress.

Also, Making food at home not only allows you to source sustainable ingredients, waste less food, and use less energy, but home cooking, especially a diet rich in plants, means less impact on the environment.

3. Energy Efficient Cooking

Cooking in batches is an extremely efficient use of both appliance energy and your time, so cook up a big batch of lasagne and anticipate saving (and eating) lots of leftovers. You can save these leftovers for later by freezing them or storing them in the fridge. Check out our blog on ways to reduce food waste for some great recommendations for eco-friendly food storage ideas!

Planning ahead is also a great way to be energy efficient when cooking; by meal planning, you prevent yourself from overspending in the shops, whilst also reducing the potential for excess food waste.

When cooking, make sure that you are using the right sized pots and pans for your stove, as well as utilising their lids in order to preserve more energy and reduce the amount needed to cook your food. If you’re using an oven, why not turn it off 10 minutes early to let the residual heat continue to cook your food?

10 Ways To Renovate Your Kitchen Sustainably

If completed correctly, renovating your kitchen sustainably improves the value of your home and also leaves you feeling guilt-free. Its a win-win.

However, the process can seem overwhelming. There’s a lot to consider when choosing your products, design, and companies, including the quality, longevity, and environmental impact of every step of your renovation, which is also affected by the materials and mode of transport used to end up in your kitchen.

To make this process a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most important things to consider when starting your eco-friendly renovation.

1. Recycle Your Old Kitchen

When beginning your renovation, it is important to remember that a kitchen you have grown tired of is not always one that has no value.

Thousands of kitchens every year are sent to landfill during home renovations. It’s worth looking into ways to sell or recycle your old kitchen, rather than sending it to landfill. The Used Kitchen Company sell second-hand and ex-showroom kitchens and are happy to help with the process of rehoming your kitchen.

And make use of your Kitchen Passport to make the process of rehoming your kitchen easier, storing all of your details in one, easily transferable place.

2. Work With What You’ve Got

Using your space effectively is the easiest way to reduce waste.

Make sure that you are designing a kitchen tailored perfectly to you; If you don’t cook a lot, why waste so much space and materials on a huge kitchen? Remember, smaller is better. The smaller the kitchen, the fewer materials are needed, the less waste produced, and the less money you will need to spend.

Make sure to make use of what you already have – are there any elements of your current kitchen you want to maintain, reuse or refurbish? Work with designers and consultants that will help you incorporate and utilize your space effectively. Maximize your space through the utility of corner units, drawers, and other nooks and crannies.

3. Use Sustainable Materials For your Kitchen Units

Make sure to consider the economic, environmental, and social implications of the materials used for your worktops and units. Working with designers and companies that are conscious of their carbon footprint and sustainability will help you find the best materials for your kitchen. Many environmentally-conscious kitchen companies will only use locally sourced materials that are sustainable and FSC trusted. These are companies are good to work with and can assure you that the Kitchen you end up with will be sustainable.

Choose doors and work-tops that are free from harsh-chemicals and can be maintained in the long run through re-painting and re-modelling. Longevity is very important when renovating your kitchen, and helps keep overall costs to a minimum.

4. Choose Appliances Wisely

Longevity is the most important thing to consider when choosing appliances for your kitchen. Whilst the cheapest options may be tempting, these are often most prone to excessive energy use and frequent replacements.

Definitely look out for the life span, energy and water performance ratings of your appliances before buying, and make sure that their brand has sustainability policies in place.

5. Water Efficiency

The water efficiency of your kitchen is something you should definitely consider when renovating sustainably. Choose more eco-friendly products and companies when choosing your water fitting features and taps. Low-flow faucets conserve water without sacrificing the luxurious feel of high water pressure. High quality dish-washers, whilst more expensive, are a lot more water efficient than more lower-end brands.

Another addition to your kitchen which improves both your water efficiency and energy usage is investing in a boiling water tap. This saves energy from boiling a kettle and provides you with hot water on demand.

6. Air Quality

Make sure your kitchen is well-ventilated, with windows and a fan as this can make the air in your home much healthier. Indoor air may be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air.

Pay attention to the board and wood products used in the construction of your cabinets, as some can be treated with harsh chemicals such as formaldehyde. Try to find safer options, or make sure that your kitchen is ventilated enough to improve the air quality hindered by these chemicals.

7. Decor and Painting

When decorating your kitchen, there are many sustainable options you should explore. Make sure to use low or no VOC paints (paints without chemical ingredients that evaporate into the atmosphere when the paint is drying), which you can buy from companies such as Little Green & Co, which also have a brilliant line of sustainable wallpapers from sustainable sources and recycled paper.

There are also many other companies which sell reclaimed decor, such as Eco Friendly Tiles, who sell recycled tiles, that provide eco-friendly alternatives when decorating your kitchen.

8. Flooring

Using reclaimed flooring for your kitchen is a great way to stay eco-friendly. Reclaimed wood flooring is often pre-seasoned, which means it will not warp and will last for years.

If you are not interested in reclaimed wood, make sure to look for companies using natural materials from sustainable sources instead. Linoleum and Cork are both great flooring materials made from renewable resources that make them sustainable choices for your new kitchen.

9. Reclaimed Furniture

Taking second-hand furniture and materials and repurposing them to suit your kitchen is a brilliant way to save money and the planet at the same time. This not only saves items from land-fill but can also bring more character to your kitchen.

Finding old items around your house or on second-hand websites, and repurposing them for your kitchen with a lick of paint or a little D.I.Y action will give your kitchen a unique edge.

10. LED Lighting

In recent years, LED bulbs have become a lot cheaper than they once were. Although still not the cheapest on the market, LED lighting is the most energy-efficient and eco-friendly way to brighten up your kitchen. With a life-span of up to 10,000 hours, and coming in many different colours, LED lights are a perfect way to keep your kitchen brighter for longer, without the guilt of wasting energy.

Ways to Reduce Food Waste in Your Kitchen

The ethical, economic and environmental issue of food waste is often overlooked.

Did you know that around of food consumed around the world is wasted, contributing to 10% of total man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? To put it simply, if food waste was a country, it would be ranked THIRD after the USA and China in terms of greenhouse gas production. As food rots and degrades, it begins to emit harmful gasses that trap heat in the atmosphere. In the UK alone, it is estimated that 10 million tonnes of food waste is produced every year, 70% of which was intended to be consumed. This has a value of over £20 billion and is associated with more than 25 million tonnes of GHG emissions. 

Food waste also has ethical implications. 1 in 9 people in this world are malnourished, which is the product of excessive food production demands, and something we should really consider when buying and wasting excessive food. 

It is undeniably urgent and important that we reduce our food waste. By reducing our waste, it has the equivalent positive effect on our environment as removing 1 in 4 cars off the road. 

So, how can we reduce our food waste? 

The solution is easy.. 

  1. Meal Planning

The two rules to a cost-effective, waste-efficient food shop are:

  • Never shop hungry. 
  • Plan your meals for the week ahead of your shop. 

You’d be surprised at how these simple changes can reduce your food waste. By shopping on a full stomach, you are less likely to be tempted by things you don’t need, and are less likely to be convinced by supermarket offers incentivising you to shop excessively. 

By planning meals ahead of your trip to the shops, you are effectively streamlining your shop to only include the ingredients necessary for the meals you intend to cook before your next shop. This not only makes your trip cheaper, but also reduces the chance of food waste.

2. Save Your Left-Overs

Instead of throwing out leftovers from your meals, or wasting a half-used fresh ingredient, invest in containers or food storage tools that preserve your food, so that you can enjoy your left-over meals and ingredients another day without waste. 

Whilst cling-film and zip-lock bags are the most common method of food preservation, we recommend investing in some tupperware, old jars or beeswax wraps as sustainable and cost-effective ways to preserve your food without contributing to the use of single-use plastics. 

  1. Know your ‘best-before’ from your ‘use-by’ dates

Food products often have both ‘best-before’ and ‘use-by’ dates. Make sure you know the difference. 

The ‘best-before’ date symbolises that the food is safe to eat after the date stated, whereas the ‘use-by’ date is stricter and only used on products that could cause sickness if eaten after the date recommended. Make sure you pay attention to this before throwing away perfectly edible food. 

Also, look out for the freezer sign on food packaging; you can safely freeze these items after the ‘best -before’ date, and up to the ‘use-by’ date. This means you can preserve food that may be on its turn for a better day.