If you asked us for our go-to sustainability tips pre-2020, you'd hear us tout all our favorite reusable things: your reusable coffee cup at the coffee shop, grocery bags at the market, and utensils when you get takeout. Unfortunately this past year temporarily took a few reusable options from us, but here's the good news: There's plenty of sustainability to go around. Here are a few of our favorite easy tips for keeping things eco-friendly.
Summer - This past year, I've focused a lot of energy on eating with the seasons. Not a new idea, but new to me and it's been fun to prioritize buying produce and products that are in season, local, abundant, and at prime deliciousness!
Sarah M. - I've amassed a drawer full of reusable containers... all from other food containers - store bought hummus, ricotta, salsa, soup... a few glass jars from more creative chutney making friends... and the occasional Thai takeout. We've made a point to put all of that takeout packaging "waste" to good use!
Steve - Last year, we signed up for Imperfect Foods delivery. It's been a super easy way for us to cut back on food headed to landfills while also shopping responsibly.
Lucinda - Last summer, I was the Basil Queen (not just the Fairy Doughmother) of my Lemon Grove neighborhood in Ventura)! I rooted so many cuttings from the basil plants I'd grown from seed, cutting down on plastic packaging and pots. It's super easy (and you can do it with mint, too):
- Clip a 4'' cutting from a mature basil plant right below a leaf node.
- Remove the leaves up to 2" from the cut end.
- Put the cutting in a glass of water and watch the roots grow over the next few weeks.
- Once the roots are 1-2" long, pot the basil and keep in a sunny location.
SJ - First of all, I only wear reusable masks (easy). And aside from mountains of dishes, I've really enjoyed eating at home more often this past year. But I often found myself wondering what to do with leftover food waste. I've been trying my hand at zero waste recipes and learning more about which parts of fruits and veggies that we typically throw away are actually edible. A few of my favorite new tricks:
- Freeze the tops of strawberries and save them for smoothies later
- Toss squash peels and seeds in olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast until crispy (they make great toppings)
- Save broccoli stems to make taco "meat" by dicing, adding cooked lentils and sautéing with onions, garlic, and taco seasonings
- Roast cauliflower leaves – they're great in stir fry
- Turn banana peels into BBQ "pulled pork"