In the Kitchen

Every year, each American throws out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage that can be composted. In Florida, we could keep about 18 million pounds of waste out of our landfills each year if every cook in the kitchen reduced just one pound of kitchen waste a year for each household member.

An online travel guide lists nearly 13 thousand restaurants in Florida. If each kitchen manager reduced food waste by just one pound each night, we could keep more than 4 million pounds of kitchen waste from our landfills each year.

If each restaurant and each of the 7 million households in Florida used just one less gallon of water each week, we could save nearly 365 million gallons of water each year.

Reduce waste

  • Check your fridge. See what needs to be eaten and get creative. A Google ingredient-search can also yield a tasty surprise. Who knew pineapple and feta and spinach would make a tasty salad?
  • Compost kitchen scraps. Almost 60 percent of the municipal solid waste produced in the United States (including paper) is compostable. Use the nutrient rich compost to enhance yard or garden soil. Compost is like vitamins for your dirt.
  • Switch to cloth napkins and dish towels. If you use paper towels or napkins, buy recycled products. Then add them to the compost pile instead of throwing them in the trash.

Protect air quality

  • Clean work area with vinegar and water instead of ammonia or chlorine products. Vinegar is acidic, so it cuts grease, kills germs and cleans a variety of surfaces. And it’s good on salads.
  • Buy locally grown fruits and vegetables that are in season to reduce fuel waste and emissions from long-distance shipping. According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, processed food in the United States travels more than 1,300 miles and fresh produce travels more than 1,500 miles before it gets to your table. Besides, fruits and vegetables are tastier when fresh. Additionally, fresh produce is usually less expensive when they’re in season.

Conserve water

  • Install aerators at the kitchen sink faucet to reduce water use by as much as 50 percent.
  • Compost instead of using the garbage disposal. The average person uses approximately 1.5 gallons of water per day to operate a garbage disposal. The healthiest fertilizer for your lawn and garden is homemade compost.
  • Use a minimum amount of water for cooking vegetables and stews to maximize nutritional value. Less water also means the watched pot boils more quickly, particularly if a lid is on the pot.
  • Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. One drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons of water per year. Eliminating that annoying drip drip drip provides another plus.

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