Check back here for a one-a-day series of actions and solutions from now until 12/11, while the international climate talks (COP 21) are going on in Paris. Check out this piece from the World Council of Churches about food justice and climate change called COP 21: how climate change affects access to our daily bread.
Today, in part 2 of Shrinking Your Foodprint: foodprint-shrinking, efficient habits… (what we eat is coming tomorrow, I promise!) Want more inspiration? Refer back to this post for videos where you can listen to smart people talk about food, faith and food justice.
- Put the lid on when you’re boiling water.
- Only boil as much water as you need.
- Cover or contain things in the fridge (moisture makes the compressor work harder, and your food will be less edible sooner, too)
- Store food that needs to be eaten in high-visibility places.
- Cook whenever possible! You’ll create less landfill waste, and use fewer take-out containers.
- Think of the oven as the SUV of your kitchen. Use it when it’s the right tool for the job, but don’t leave it running when there’s nothing in it, and try to use all the space when it’s on. You can also heat once, cook twice to save a little warm-up time. In the summer: avoid the oven, it’ll heat your house up. Must use it? At night, when you can open the windows! In the winter, when you’re done cooking, leave the door open for a bit (if you can, safely) to let the heat into the house.
- Choose a strategy: EITHER make only what you will eat, OR purposely make extra and freeze portion-sizes, pack ready-to-go lunches, or share with a neighbor. Do you make award winning chili? If your neighbor has a different quantity-cook specialty, make double and swap — 2 meals for one prep!
- Buy things in less packaging. When you have a choice of heavier or lighter versions of the same food (think canned beans v. bagged beans), or refrigerated or shelf-stable versions (think salad dressing) choose lighter (fewer emissions to transport) or stable (eliminate refrigeration.
- Pick a month (January?) and make that the month you clean the coils in the back of your fridge or the vent at the bottom, change any filters, and check for a good seal with no leaks on both fridge and freezer.
- There is need to run hot water in the sink to wash your hands —its the soap, water, and friction that get the job done.
- Clean-up: Be efficient with your hot water when you’re finished with your meal. Scrape your plates. If you’re handwashing use a basin or stop the sink rather than letting the water run. If you use a dishwasher, experiment to figure out if you can skip the rinse, and see if your model lets you air dry instead of heat-drying.