There are many different ways we can reduce our impact on the environment, starting with our behaviours and habits in the kitchen. Not only is food waste responsible for additional carbon emissions, it also contributes to unnecessary land and water use. Along with food waste, plastic packaging, chemicals used in the kitchen further add to current global environmental issues.

Food waste

Food waste is one of the most important and easily preventable issues present in our environment. According to the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, every year we waste approximately 7.6 million tonnes of food across the supply chain. This is equivalent to 312 kg per person, or 1 in 5 grocery shopping bags. If we think back to the water, land mass and energy used to produce this wasted food, our negative impact is even greater. We can make a difference as individual consumers by carefully planning our meals and limiting food waste in our kitchen.


Product Packaging

Product food packaging is another major issue contributing to the climate crisis. The plastic wrapper used for your muesli bar will only serve its purpose for a few weeks before ending up in landfill for years. Plastic food packaging heavily contributes to increasing overall carbon emissions, blocking our drains and potentially harming wildlife when it ends up in the ocean. Not only is it energy intensive to produce plastic food packaging, but its negative impact lasts far beyond the time of its disposal. We can easily reduce or limit our use of plastic packaging by shopping at our local bakery and market, make our own snacks and buying produce in bulk.


Carbon Footprint

Food often travels several miles before landing on our plates. Whether it be from across the state or even across the ocean, a significant amount of the food we buy has been either grown, transformed or manufactured in a different state or country. The transportation of food for long distances significantly increases our carbon footprint. A simple way to help reduce our impact is to buy local and seasonal foods. Here are other ways you can lower your carbon footprint.

10 Tips to be more sustainable in the kitchen

There are many ways we can do our part to make our kitchen more sustainable starting with small changes and slowly working our way to better and more environmentally conscious habits.

Plan Your Meals

1. Plan Your Meals

Take time to sit down and plan your meals for the week. This will help you buy exactly what you need and limit food waste. Planning also helps prevent multiple trips to the shops and allows you to gather most of what you require in one go. You can plan for lunches and leftovers you can keep in the freezer for later to further limit food waste. If you find you haven’t used all of your fresh produce and they are starting to rot, make a soup, a stir fry or juice them!

2. Grow Your Own Food

One of the best ways to limit our negative impact is by growing our own food. It can be as simple as growing a few veggies or herbs either in your backyard or even on your balcony. You can also plant local fruit trees which will not only bring you delicious fresh fruit to eat but will also benefit our local insects. If this isn’t an option, try to join your local community garden or shop at your local market.


3. Buy Seasonal Produce

Have you ever wondered which fruit or vegetable are currently in season? Depending on where you live, there is a natural cycle of growth and harvest for every food. Do some research, ask around and make a conscious effort to buy produce that is in season. This will help regenerate our soils, reduce unnecessary transportation and refrigeration as well as supporting our local farmers by regulating supply. To find out more about the type of foods that grow seasonally in your region, visit the Seasonal Food Guide Australia.

4. Use Natural Cleaning Products

Most mainstream cleaning products are made with harsh ingredients that are not only toxic for humans but also to our natural environment and wildlife. Have you ever taken the time to read the ingredients list on your cleaning products? Most often than not, there is an exhaustive list of synthetic and harsh ingredients that is left on our benchtops and dishes for us to come in contact with. This can easily be avoided by choosing a natural option or making your own cleaning products. Browse through our DIY recipes using essential oils. 

Natural Cleaning Products

5. Choose to Buy in Bulk

One of the easiest ways to limit food packaging is by choosing to buy in bulk. From flour, beans and nuts to spices, teas and dried fruit, most bulk stores offer a variety of produce covering all of our pantry needs. Bring your own jars and fill up on your staples, without the packaging!

6. Compost

It is best to limit our food waste overall but for those food scraps, peels and leftovers, avoid throwing them in the bin and choose to compost them instead. Most councils around Australia offer compost services. If there are no commercial composting facilities in your area, consider using an alternative such as a worm farm or an urban composter.

7. Buy Direct From the Growers

When possible, choose to shop at your local market and buy directly from the farmers. This will not only help limit unnecessary food packaging and transportation, but you will also help support the local economy while benefiting from fresh and nutritious produce. If there is no market near you, look for an online fresh produce delivery service in your area.

8. Choose Reusable or Biodegradable Kitchen Accessories

Where possible choose quality reusable kitchen accessories to cook and clean with. You can also favour biodegradable and compostable options such as compostable cloth, bamboo cutlery or a natural dish brush to limit waste.

Biodegradable Kitchen Accessories

Not sure where to start? Try our Toxic Free Home Journey! Over the course of a year, learn how to use essential oils to makes your own products and limit the use of synthetics and chemicals in your home. You'll receive a new box of essential oils and accessories each month, as well as an educational video, via your online dashboard. You will also have access to DIY recipes to help you make the most of your monthly box.


Shop kits & blends

ECO. Anxiety Blend Essential Oil (1465915801655)

Sold out
ECO. Calm & Destress Aroma Trio (638688395319)

Sold out
ECO. Calm & Destress Blend (638691344439)

Sold out

Author: Elisabeth Lemieux
Marketing Coordinator

Liz is the Marketing Coordinator at ECO. Modern Essentials and oversees the company’s brand and communication strategy. Liz has extensive experience in brand management, strategy development and digital marketing across a range of direct-to-consumer businesses in the health and wellness industry. She is a qualified Yoga instructor and has been practicing for nearly a decade. Liz is passionate about everything wellness and has a strong interest in holistic health.


Learn more here.

Join the ECO. Family