Our top tips on cooking sustainably
At Purdy & Figg, we believe in living trying to live sustainably, trying to minimise our carbon footprint and make eco-friendly choices whenever we can. In addition to natural cleaning and trying to minimise single use plastic, cooking sustainably is a great way to build more environmentally friendly habits. We’ve created some top tips to help guide you below.
In March 2020 when supermarkets began to run low on food, millions of us turned to local shops and farmers markets. This year, you can shop more sustainably by making the choice to continue to buy local. By shopping locally, you help to fuel your local economy, aiding our national recovery across the country. Shopping locally helps to create important economic opportunities within your community. Not only are you creating and saving jobs, but you are also reducing your carbon footprint as the food travels much shorter distances to get to you.
Finally, local farmers markets often provide greater choice and unique products that are fresher and more ethically sourced than products you encounter at a supermarket.
Even if you live in a small apartment, you can do your bit for the environment by growing your own herbs. As we are coming into the spring and summer months, it’s the perfect time to start cultivating your own little garden. Here are some of the easiest herbs to grow for yourself:
Basil - Basil is a useful ingredient for many recipes and is a great herb to grow yourself in the spring and summer months.
Basil needs as much sunlight as possible, fresh fertile soil and grows best in a pot or container.
It's important to remember that basil cannot survive in harsh and frosty conditions, so if you want to grow in winter, make sure to do so indoors.
Mint - Mint is a beautiful herb that can be used to add flavour in both food and drink, and is a great one to grow in the summer if you fancy a Mojito or two. It’s also incredibly refreshing in salads or in tea.
Mint is a great herb all year round, and only needs a moderate level of sunlight. Similar to basil, mint is best grown in a pot or container so that it doesn’t have to compete with other plants in the ground. Keep the soil consistently moist and water when the top inch becomes dry, but avoid over watering.
Coriander - Coriander is a versatile ingredient often used in curries and Asian recipes.
Coriander grows best in well-drained soil with moderate amounts of sunlight. It prefers a cool position and light shade. It is known as a herb that can be quite difficult to grow, but it's recommended to crush the seeds very gently before sowing to speed up the process.
An estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally each year. This is one third of all food produced for human consumption.
Food waste also contributes to waste of around a quarter of our water supply, equating to over $172 billion in waste water. Our food waste is disposed of in landfills where it rots and becomes a significant source of methane - a potent greenhouse gas.
Planning your meals ahead will allow you to understand the quantities you and your family consume and will ensure leftover food isn’t thrown away and wasted. This not only will save the environment by reducing food waste, but will also save you money when it comes to your grocery bills.
If Planning isn’t your style, why not try out a food subscription box like Gousto or Hello Fresh? They give you the exact amount of ingredients needed for each recipe and use all sustainable and eco-friendly packaging.
Buying your ingredients in bulk and using your freezer more frequently means you're reducing your single use plastic significantly. By buying ingredients in bulk, keeping them stored and filling reusable containers up, you’ll buy less packaging, meaning less waste.
Certain fruits and vegetables can be bought in bulk with limited plastic packaging and be frozen to be eaten when desired.
A huge perk to this means you’ll never run out of the foods you love, and let's be honest, it looks great too!
Cutting out even just a little bit of meat can significantly help lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Along with being a major driver of deforestation, meat uses up a significant amount of water. Every kilogram of beef produced requires around 15,400 litres of water. In total, almost a third of the world’s freshwater usage goes into animal products.
In particular, beef takes up more land and water and causes more environmental damage than any other food.
Even if you’re a big meat eater, every little bit counts - cutting out meat just one day a week could significantly contribute to the fight against climate change. Trying a Meat Free Monday is a simple way for you to significantly reduce your emissions.