Essential old-fashioned tools and practices to make your kitchen more sustainable

January 21, 2019 by  
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Between planning meals , dragging home groceries, cooking and clean up, the kitchen is the hub of activity in most homes. That means it can also be a significant source of waste. However, there are lots of ways to make your kitchen more sustainable. If you’re looking for ways to cut back on disposables and instead invest in products that will serve you for many years, we have some ideas for you to consider. Cast iron skillets and Le Creuset If you have ever used heavy-duty cast iron, you know that a single seasoned pan will last for generations. With proper care, your children and their children will be using the same pans a hundred years from now. Related: 10 ways to use up mushy, overripe bananas Peppermill Off the vine, peppercorn is round and looks like a tiny grape. Once dried, the freshest way to enjoy peppercorn is ground directly onto your food. Avoid the waste from the myriad containers your ground pepper comes in and use a traditional peppermill instead. Buy your peppercorns in bulk and bring your own jar to eliminate packaging altogether. Mortar and pestle All things worth enjoying require a bit of effort, and a mortar and pestle is the perfect example of that. Although it means manually mashing your herbs and other ingredients, a mortar and pestle eliminates the needs for other gadgets in your kitchen and produces a fresh result in your cooking. Stainless steel When it comes to sustainability, stainless steel is a good product to reach for. Not only does it consume limited resources during production, but it is a long-lasting material and completely recyclable at the end of its functionality. To make your kitchen more eco-friendly , skip the petroleum-based plastic products and reach for stainless steel measuring cups and spoons, microplanes, ice trays if you still use them, mixing bowls, strainers, shakers and compost bins. Knives This is one area of your kitchen worth the initial investment. Good chef’s knives will pay you dividends for a lifetime. As a bonus, this means less waste from cheaper alternatives that don’t make the cut. Ceramic, stone or glass Once again, it’s important to incorporate materials made from the earth and both ceramic and glass are great options. Think ceramic ginger grater, glass or ceramic pie dish and stoneware cooking sheets. Manual tools In the long-term, sticking with traditional tools in the kitchen will save electricity costs. Plus, you’ll gain added satisfaction in the simplicity of cooking with a metal potato masher, non-electric hand mixer, manual can opener, food mill (applesauce maker) and an old-fashioned knife instead of a food chopper or garlic press. Wood Wood is another material sourced from nature and eco-friendly. Shop for wooden salad bowls, wood spoons for stirring, bamboo steamers, cutting boards and serving bowls. Storage containers We all like to hang on to those leftovers and that’s a great way to reduce waste , but plastic and foil are both problematic for the environment so consider other options for your storage needs. For the refrigerator, purchase glass or stainless steel containers with interchangeable lids. While you’re at it, replace plastic wrap with bowl covers or beeswax sheets that mould around the container. Also consider your staple products and find see-through glass jars to house your flour, cereal, pasta, beans and sugar. Spices are easy to organize and use in matching glass jars. Mason jars are another great option for storing nuts, seeds, homemade salad dressing and much more. Towels and napkins We have become accustomed to the disposable society around us, which means you may not think about reaching for a paper towel to wipe up the spill on the floor. When you consider the chemicals and water usage required to turn trees into paper products though, an earth-friendly alternative is to use cloth napkins and towels. With a little practice you’ll realize why humans got by just fine on these options, sans the single-use waste. Beverage containers A few carefully-chosen beverage containers can replace thousands of disposable cups. Grab a high-quality stainless steel coffee mug and one of the many non-plastic options for your water to make a quick and powerful contribution to the health of the planet. Cleaning tools Kitchens are messy, so consider tools that will allow you to clean it up without having an adverse effect on the environment. Purchase natural dish brushes that decompose in the landfill instead of plastic options or sponges that both end up clogging the waste stream. There are very few things that some combination of baking soda and vinegar alone can’t clean. Also look into glycerin, salt and citrus as powerful aids in cleaning without the toxic chemical contribution. Related: How to decode confusing labels on common household cleaners Shopping Remember that perhaps the biggest impact you can make toward a green kitchen starts with your purchasing decisions. It seems that everything these days is wrapped in plastic so seek out alternatives. It’s best to grow your own food, but another option is to attend local farmers’ markets. Bring your own reusable shopping and produce bags to the store. Select produce that has not been bundled in plastic bags and hunt down stores that offer compostable produce bags as an option. Also bring your own containers directly to the bulk section to further eliminate waste. Cooking practices Another fabulous way to cut waste is to make your own foods rather than buying pre-packaged options. Breads are quick and easy to make. Make granola bars and protein balls for school lunches. Cook up your own yogurt and ditch the individual plastic containers. Turning your kitchen into a simplified oasis of earth-friendly food production begins with evaluating the supplies you need and making decisions about the best options to fulfil those needs. Focus on conscientious purchases that combine wholesome food along with sustainable tools and you have a recipe for a long-term low-carbon-footprint kitchen. Images via Shutterstock

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Essential old-fashioned tools and practices to make your kitchen more sustainable

Peek inside the zero-waste kitchen of the future

May 24, 2017 by  
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The kitchen of the future will be healthier for our planet and improve our family ties through food. That’s the vision behind The Future Kitchen, a proposal by New York-based architect Marc Thorpe and students of the industrial design department at Pratt Institute. Installed for WantedDesign Manhattan at the Caeserstone booth, the innovative kitchen prototype emphasizes sustainability with zero-waste systems and in-home gardening, while strengthening social ties with its community-oriented design. ? Environmentally friendly principles were at the heart of the kitchen design process. With Thorpe’s guidance, Pratt students researched sustainable strategies for water use, composting , farming, smart technology, and food storage. The Future Kitchen is self-sufficient, a feature Thorpe says will be a necessity in 2050 when 80 percent of the world’s population is estimated to reside in urban centers. ? Related: Friends give their kitchen a green makeover filled with fun upcycled touches The innovative design is centered on a circular hearth that reinforces the idea of the kitchen as a social meeting place. The circular hearth opening also doubles as a food waste disposal chute that feeds the biogas generator and 3D printer, repurposing waste as energy and material. The washing area uses stream automation to minimize water usage, and water drains into a filter system that repurposes wastewater into hydroponic and aquaponic systems. A food prep area with Caesarstone quartz, induction cooktop with smart technology, and separate dining area are also integrated into the compact Future Kitchen. + Marc Thorpe + Pratt Institute + Caesarstone

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Peek inside the zero-waste kitchen of the future

Peek inside the zero-waste kitchen of the future

May 24, 2017 by  
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The kitchen of the future will be healthier for our planet and improve our family ties through food. That’s the vision behind The Future Kitchen, a proposal by New York-based architect Marc Thorpe and students of the industrial design department at Pratt Institute. Installed for WantedDesign Manhattan at the Caeserstone booth, the innovative kitchen prototype emphasizes sustainability with zero-waste systems and in-home gardening, while strengthening social ties with its community-oriented design. ? Environmentally friendly principles were at the heart of the kitchen design process. With Thorpe’s guidance, Pratt students researched sustainable strategies for water use, composting , farming, smart technology, and food storage. The Future Kitchen is self-sufficient, a feature Thorpe says will be a necessity in 2050 when 80 percent of the world’s population is estimated to reside in urban centers. ? Related: Friends give their kitchen a green makeover filled with fun upcycled touches The innovative design is centered on a circular hearth that reinforces the idea of the kitchen as a social meeting place. The circular hearth opening also doubles as a food waste disposal chute that feeds the biogas generator and 3D printer, repurposing waste as energy and material. The washing area uses stream automation to minimize water usage, and water drains into a filter system that repurposes wastewater into hydroponic and aquaponic systems. A food prep area with Caesarstone quartz, induction cooktop with smart technology, and separate dining area are also integrated into the compact Future Kitchen. + Marc Thorpe + Pratt Institute + Caesarstone

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Peek inside the zero-waste kitchen of the future

IKEA’s temporary shop explores the future in kitchen design at Milan Design Week

April 16, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of IKEA’s temporary shop explores the future in kitchen design at Milan Design Week Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ikea , IKEA temporary shop , Marcus Engman , Matali Crasset , Milan Design Week , Milan furniture fare , Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2015 , sustainable kitchen

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IKEA’s temporary shop explores the future in kitchen design at Milan Design Week

USA-Made Portland Press Lets You Brew Fresh Coffee in Any Mason Jar

May 14, 2013 by  
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Home coffee -making equipment has come a long way, but the typical french press is still assembled from plastic and delicate glass in an overseas factory. The Portland Press is a french press for a mason jar that is made in the state of Oregon out of materials sourced in the USA. It’s a simple, clean, practical design made out of fundamental materials: glass, wool, steel, and wood. Most importantly, the Mason jar is easy to replace if it breaks, and the rest of the Portland Press is backed with a lifetime warranty. The Portland Press just launched a crowdfunding campaign on Crowd Supply – if you’re a fan of this project you can support it here ! + Portland Press on Crowd Supply The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: coffee , eco appliances , french press , green coffee , green design , green kitchen , mason jar , portland press , sustainable design , sustainable kitchen , usa made        

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USA-Made Portland Press Lets You Brew Fresh Coffee in Any Mason Jar

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