Most Conscious Kitchen Choices
We all know by now that Plastic is one of the world's major crises of this century. According to National Geographic, ‘there are currently 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the world’s oceans with 269,000 tonnes of this floating on the surface’.
It’s detrimental to our eco-system and health. Wildlife is injured and poisoned due to the ingestion of debris and chemicals. As in the video, a major proportion of the sea fish now contain plastic. While chemicals such as phthalates found in plastic packaging (which is also found in vinyl flooring and wall coverings) are absorbed by human bodies through inhaling or ingesting. It can alter hormones and lead to other possible health effects. Eight out of every ten babies, and nearly all adults, have extensive levels of phthalates in their bodies. Whilst biphenyl A (BPA), found in polycarbonate bottles and the linings of food and beverage cans, can also leach into food and drinks. Find more info here.
Why is it vital for chefs to know this? Your day to day practices and products used in the kitchen have a profound impact on our eco-system and people’s health.
Yes of course some kitchen products just need to be made from plastic, that’s fine. But if it has to be made from plastic, then choose a biodegradable, a re-useable or recyclable brand.
Make Conscious Choices:
- Recycle your plastic bottles – only 27% of plastic bottles are recycled. Floating plastic survives for thousands of years and disrupts habitats.
- Eco clothing - Yes your staff needs to look awesome, they definitely still can in sustainable clothing. Organic material is free from synthetic fibers which is ultimately plastic. It also promotes better body breathing and easy movement.
- Choose environmental friendly footwear- Did you know, many shoes contain high amounts of plastic which can’t be broken down? E.g Birkenstock use eco-friendly cork and rubber.
- Reusable Organic Cotton Napkins. Paper napkins are one of the worst single-use culprits.
- How often do you use rubbish bags in your kitchen? Ditch conventional and choose biodegradable disposable Waste Bags.
- Choose ballpoint pens which are made from recycled water bottles. Water bottles are one of the top contributors to not only plastic pollution, but to world pollution in general. Pilot and Australian Eco pens are great alternatives.
- 100% Recycled Aluminium Foil. Look for brands such as “If you Care” 100% recycled aluminum and it’s affiliated retailers.
- As cling wrap is one of the most heavily used products in a commercial kitchen, seeking a Biodegradable option is essential. Think twice the next time you stretch out metres of cling wrap to use.
- LED Bulbs - LED bulbs and Solar panels work like magic in preserving energy (and magically lower your electricity bill).
- Thinking of a sustainable garden patch for your restaurant? Awesome start. Complete it with biodegradable garden pots - made from recycled material and decompose in around a year.
- Cutlery & Packaging for those take home left over meals are a highly used kitchen commodity. Ditch the single use plastics for biodegradable. Biopackhave an awesome variety.
- Ditch plastic bags. We all know they’ve outnumbered our human population and covered our planet. If you need to shop for groceries, carry your clothes around after your long shift or just need a handy bag, choose reusable shopping bags. Each Cream Workwear garment is packed into an organic linen garment bag which can be re-used as often as you like for endless purposes.
It’s important to be aware of the domino effect created by daily kitchen practices and products usage. Yet it’s encouraging to know of the endless eco-kitchen alternatives available - it's the minor things which lead to a profound difference. Just think long-term. Think eco-alternatives.