Managing your Kitchen, “Sustainably”

There is no doubt that people who prefer staying healthy, maintaining proper diets, keep their kitchen in an organized manner. They upgrade to the latest technologies, that keeps their kitchen as the center of attraction of their house. Such people tend to enjoy cooking and preparing their delicacies in a healthy way. Well, that’s good. But is that enough ?

We are currently dealing with a planet that has been polluted, exploited and destroyed to an unprecedented level. Who’s fault is this ? Of course, ours. And we should not be ashamed of accepting the same. While we are talking about pollution levels, the question now is, how should we tackle that. Can we begin that from our own households ? Yes, definitely. We can start from the kitchen where majority of the waste is produced. A general practice is that, the waste matter is collected and dumped in a single bin, which goes to the dump truck the next day. Now, estimates say that, China tops the list of the Annual Household Food Waste produced in the world. As of 2020, China produced 91.65 million metric tons. Followed by India, producing around 67 million metric tons. Nigeria being the third country at around 38 and the US around 19.36 million metric tons, alone in the year 2020. Huge…isn’t it ?

Let’s talk about energy consumption. The world’s electricity consumption amounted to approximately 23,398 terawatt hours in 2018. China requires more energy than any other country to support its billion-strong population and industries. Hence it is the greatest electricity consuming nation in the world. The interesting part of the talk is, where does this electricity sourced from ? Most of it comes from non-renewable resources of energy such as fossil fuel. This not only reduces the concentration of fossils from the earth’s surface but also causes pollution of all levels. How to curb this ?

There are many simple techniques that an individual can apply to in his daily life. One should start from one’s own house, isn’t it ? The amount of waste produced from a household can be reduced to a drastic level by reusing some of the materials such as glass, plastic, iron materials etc. The vegetable and fruit peels can go to the compost bin instead of being thrown out. This way, not only the waste gets reduced, but also the pressure on land fills is low. Before throwing the rest of the waste, it should be properly segregated into as many categories as possible. For example, plastic, wood, glass, medical, chemicals and so on. This reduces the effort to segregate them later on for industrial recycling.

We were in the kitchen. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle are the important ones out of all. The objective is to reuse kitchen materials such as kitchen cloths, boards, grocery bags etc. as much as possible. Instead of plastic, one can use cloth bag, again recycled from waste. Instead of going for fertilized veggies and fruits, one can get organic ones which are healthy and safe to be consumed. Use of harvested rain water for kitchen purposes is another added charm. Reducing the food preparation to appropriate amounts (this is of course a bit difficult but is possible) so that there are no left overs to be thrown out.

Coming to energy consumption, solar cookers are an innovative tech to cook food. This entirely works on the sun’s infinite source of energy and takes up no extra cost other than the set-up. Biomass energy, is another example of clean energy and is totally renewable. Energy harvesting, till now is not fully commercialized but this is going to be the future. Solar panels are largely used across many locations wherein there is abundant sunshine. Technologies have to be commercialized to such levels wherein every household should have the minimum infrastructure to generate its own energy via sun, wind and water.