Going green in the kitchen

From creative ways to using up your leftovers to buying food locally – everything counts with kitchen habits, especially with the planet at stake. Here are some great tips to be kitchen savvy whilst helping the environment.

An eco-conscious cook has flair and imagination. Waste? No such thing. Apply this principle to your cooking habits. Use your leftovers creatively and most importantly don’t think of them as leftovers! Chickpea water can be made into a vegan mayonnaise or try cutting courgette stalks into penne shapes and cook like pasta. You need to find creative ways to use everything up; wasting food is down to a lack of imagination and laziness.

Buy food grown within 30 miles of where you live (or as close as). The shorter the food chain, the less waste created on the food journey to your kitchen. The nutritional value of fruit and veg lasts for only a short time so how far your food has travelled really does matter.

Explore the countryside near you and as well as experiencing nature you can find flavoursome foods. Herbs, berries, wild garlic and even nettles can be used as garnishes, flavour to soups, pasta and risottos. Forage safely (always take gloves) and visit woodlandtrust.org or wildfooduk.com to check if foraged ingredients are identifiable before eating.

Seasonal foods can be the best but why can’t we have them all year round? Make the most of seasonal excess and preserve your favourites. Ruby red, super sweet tomatoes for passata can be frozen in containers and veg can be preserved in oils, vinegars, chutneys, ketchup and marinades, or simple freeze them.

PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastics are the most recyclable, found in drinks bottles and fruit punnets followed by HDPE (high density polyethylene), in milk bottles and cereal box liners. If you can’t avoid them, use them again and again. Another simple trick is taking your own containers to shops and markets for loose fruit and veg.

For advice and guidance on recycling the right way visit wrap.org.uk and recyclenow.com