On a global scale, one third of the produce that we grow is thrown out, culminating in 1.3 billion tons of wasted food every year. After confronting themselves with these appallingly high numbers, most people gasp in disbelief, but then simply sigh and say, "Well, I personally don't throw out that much. I can't be part of the problem!"
But that's where most people are wrong. There are many ways - both large and small - in which all of us can help minimize food waste in our everyday lives. If you're serious about making a difference, one of the best ways of cutting down on food trash is attempting to go near-zero-waste in your kitchen. We know that this is easier said than done, but hear us out: there are four surprisingly simple additions to any and all quality kitchens that will decrease your waste like never before. Let's check them out!
1. Prioritize Recycling and Compost
One of the most important steps towards reducing your food waste is making recycling and composting priorities in your day-to-day routine - without exceptions. By religiously recycling all plastic, metal, and glass, as well as letting all organic leftovers decay, your carbon footprint is sure to take a much-needed hit. What's more, your garden can only benefit from the nutrient-rich soil that the compost produces. It's a win-win!
2. Reusable is All the Rage
Progressive, quality kitchens are always equipped with storage containers that are reusable. After all, why use paper plates and plastic bags, which only cause more waste? Instead, adopt an eco-friendly approach to storing your leftovers by investing in some sturdy, washable containers that you can reuse time and time again. Even better if they're dishwasher-friendly!
3. Bulk Up
Along with packing reusable shopping bags every time you hit the stores, it's wise to buy your staples in bulk sizes whenever possible. Not only will this spare you some shopping trips (once again reducing your carbon footprint!), but you can also pat yourself on the back for going a bit easier on Planet Earth: the ratio of wrapping to product is lower when you buy a bulk package of flour, baking soda, salt, or whatever other staple you may need.
4. Capitalize On Your Quality Kitchen's Cabinets
Lastly but most importantly, it's not just about how you act in your kitchen - it's also about how you design it. If you're thinking about remodeling the space, we have one piece of advice for you: never underestimate the value of conveniently constructed cabinetry, which can make a world of difference when it comes to minimizing waste. When you invest in cabinets that have the consumer's needs in mind, chances are you'll be able to take inventory of what you have with one quick scan, as opposed to moving items around or overlooking them entirely. As a result, food is less likely to go to waste, and you won't overbuy. Who knew that quality kitchens' cabinetry could go such a long way?
Whether or not you're planning on installing new cabinets, it's easy enough to make a few little changes to your shopping, cooking, and storing habits. By taking steps to minimize your food waste, you're doing your part for our planet and its continued (and hopefully bright!) future. And isn't that worth a small sacrifice or two?
Caroline Krogh-Jensen is a co-founder of BauBox, a manufacturer of affordable, European-style kitchen cabinets based in California. With over a decade of experience in the furniture industry, she has built up an outstanding reputation for helping her clients design quality kitchens that exceed their highest expectations, always striking the perfect balance between comfort and class