How to Design a Zero-Waste Kitchen
By Caleb Leonard
As we witness the impacts of plastics and other waste on our planet, more and more people are looking to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Creating a zero-waste kitchen involves adopting a mindful and sustainable approach to reduce waste at every stage of your buying, cooking, and eating routines, and it is an impactful way to minimize your carbon footprint.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:
Plan Ahead to Leave Less Behind
Look through your pantry and kitchen to see what you have on hand. Assess areas where waste is generated and rethink your shopping list.
Food waste can be prevented by effectively using your ingredients. Make creative use of leftovers. Freeze excess food for future meals. Don’t over-purchase perishable items. Make a shopping list and stick to it to avoid impulse purchases.
Buy in Bulk and Refill
Stock up on staples like grains, pasta, nuts, and spices in bulk. If you are heading to a store with bulk bins, bring your containers to avoid excess packaging.
Another way to reduce plastic packaging waste is by shopping at stores where you can refill cleaning and personal care products.
Choose products with minimal or sustainable packaging. Opt for glass, metal, or cardboard packaging over plastic whenever possible. These items can be repurposed or recycled.
Avoid individually packaged items and single-use packaging.
Shop Your Local Farmers Market
Farmers markets facilitate zero-waste kitchens.
Reduced food packaging: Farmers markets offer fewer packaged and processed foods than grocery stores. Buying fewer single-use plastics keeps packaging waste out of landfills.
Local and seasonal produce: Farmers markets prioritize regionally grown and seasonal produce. By buying from local farmers, you support sustainable agriculture practices while minimizing the environmental impact of long-distance food transportation.
Bulk purchases: Many farmers markets offer the option to buy produce in bulk, allowing you to choose the quantity you need without redundant packaging.
BYOB (bring your own bag)
Those flimsy plastic bags from the grocery store are no match for a reusable tote. Reusable bags made from canvas or recycled plastics are larger and more durable than single-use bags. Plus, more states are implementing fees to curb the use of plastic bags.
Go Green with Reusable Kitchenware
Most people know about reusable water bottles, but there are tons more reusable items on the market (many are dishwasher-safe too). From reusable K-cups for your morning cup of joe to stainless steel straws, there are lots of eco-friendly ways to eliminate kitchen waste.
Here are a few examples:
- Reusable food wraps (plastic wrap alternative)
- Washable cloths (paper towel/napkin substitute)
- Fiberglass chopsticks
- Compostable sponges
- Silicone storage/freezer bags (Ziplock alternative)
- Silicone muffin liners
Reusable products not only cut down on the production and consumption of new products, but they also save you money.
Consider Eco-Friendly Upgrades
With all the money you’ll save by going green, consider upgrading your appliances. New technologies use less water and electricity. The money you spend on energy-efficient appliances will be recuperated over time.
Freeze as You Please
A high-performance freezer is a powerful tool for keeping your food fresh. Food waste often comes from leftovers. Rather than throwing away leftovers, you can freeze them. These frozen meals can be quick and convenient options on busy days, especially when stored as pre-packaged meals.
Freezing foods can significantly extend their shelf life; this way, you can buy in bulk and take advantage of sales without worrying about ingredients spoiling.
If you have produce nearing its expiration date, freeze it before it turns. Freeze fruits, vegetables, and other perishables. Sauces can be frozen too.
Your freezer can also store dry goods. Freeze bulk items like nuts, grains, and flour for later use.
Reimagine Your Food Scraps
Almost all organic material has multiple uses. For example, banana peels make great hair and skin masks, banana tea is a powerful sleep aid, and plants love the potassium-enriched water of peels soaked overnight.
Orange peels can be boiled as a room deodorizer or baked and ground into a vitamin-packed powder.
Bones can be made into bone broth, and new plants can be grown from viable produce seeds, while herbs can be propagated for an endless supply of seasonings.
Before you toss it in the compost bin, perform a quick search and scope out any additional uses.
Compost is King
Composting is the backbone of the zero-waste kitchen. Once you have re-used your food in every imaginable way, it’s time to give it back to the earth. Create a compost pile in your yard; use a tumbling bin or a countertop composter.
Benefits of composting:
Reduced landfill waste: Food scraps account for a large chunk of landfill waste. When these materials decompose in landfills; they release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Composting diverts these materials away from landfills, reducing their environmental impact.
Enriched soil: Compost improves soil structure, water retention, and nutrient availability. By composting, you’ll foster healthy plant growth, reducing the need for excessive watering and fertilizers.
Minimized odor and pests: Properly composting food scraps and yard waste reduces the likelihood of attracting pests and generating foul odors in trash bins.
A zero-waste kitchen is one way to live a greener, more eco-friendly lifestyle. Once you hit your stride in the kitchen, you’ll likely find other areas to cut waste. Small changes add up, and you’ll make a big difference.
Caleb Leonard is a freelance writer and marketing professional. A graduate of the University of North Texas, his interests include gardening, podcasts, and studying Spanish.
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By Joe Wehinger — 2 years ago
Your summertime adventures deserve a refreshing taste, with healthy results and supporting a good case, taste CaliWater.
This summer many families are going on adventures – from a fun night out, to local road trips to traditional vacations and everything in between. Families are looking for flavor, looking for healthy options, when possible choosing to support social good.
Recently we tasted a solution that solves all of this and more.
CaliWater is the latest celebrity-driven brand on an already crowded grocery shelf to promote flavor, fun and health.
Before you judge it, have you tried cactus water? If not, honestly it’s worth a taste.
Open your mind (and your mouth) to the world of cactus water. Try the taste of CaliWater.
CaliWater comes in two subtle, but very different flavors:
Ginger + Lime
It’s a drink that adds a pop to your tongue.
Tasting-wise, on the nose is heavy lime that for me became a palette cleanser. Got a funky taste in your mouth? This can will save you. The lime notes carry over on your palette and the ginger adds a refreshing zing. The linger lasts, leaving a pleasant and refreshing taste.
Wild Prickly Pear
Tasting-wise, on your nose its a bit sweet and even floral. As you taste, it’s giving your mouth a sweet, refreshing bath similar to a bite of watermelon.
But How Healthy is CaliWater?
The simple answer is: very healthy.
Caliwater contains 5 naturally occurring electrolytes to boost hydration and is packed with skin fortifying antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and 200mg of Prickly Pear Extract which is a proven hangover relief.
Prickly Pear Cactus has shown to lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar levels, and provides natural anti-viral properties. Known as a “superfruit”, the Prickly Pear Cactus has been the health solution go-to for many all over the world.
CaliWater is a Proven Hangover Relief
Let’s repeat an important part. The drinks include 200mg of Prickly Pear Extract which is a proven hangover relief.
Cali water also serves as a fantastic mixer for your favorite cocktail.
Created with passion, love, and a clear mission in mind
Earth-friendly activists Vanessa Hudgens and Oliver Trevena bonded while enjoying a prickly pear margarita.
They launched CaliWater, California cactus water that goes beyond just hydration.
Created with passion, love and a clear mission in mind CaliWater hopes to promote healthy eco-friendly lifestyles and to make the world a better place.
With up to 75% of Americans being considered chronically dehydrated CaliWater offer the tasty yet healthy alternative to water that also presents benefits for health and well-being.
Giving Social Good
CaliWater’s goal is not only to provide health benefits to their customers, but also to raise awareness about the fight against childhood hunger.
Partnering with No Kid Hungry a charity working to stop hungry children, Cali Wter pledges to donate $0.05 for every can purchased with the goal of donating $1,000,000 by April 2022.
Read for a Taste?
You can shop CaliWater here: https://drinkcaliwater.com/
You can also browse your local Erewhon, Alfred, Bevmo, Blueys Market & Cafe, Sunlight Organics, The Pie Hotel, Vintage Grocers.Post Views: 143
By Contributor — 2 weeks ago
DTLA’s Boomtown Brewery 9th Anniversary Celebration in the Arts District Feb 17
Boomtown Brewery , L.A.’s iconic craft beer haven located in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles, is gearing up to commemorate nine years of brewing excellence with a blow-out Boomtown Brewery 9thAnniversary Celebration coming up on Saturday, February 17th, 2024!
Boomtown Brewery 9thAnniversary Celebration on Saturday, February 17th
Boomtown Brewery invites beer enthusiasts, locals, and visitors alike to join the party in the Boomtown Tap Room located just steps away from their state-of-the-art brewery for a full day and evening filled with Craft Beer, Food Trucks, DJ’s, Live Entertainment, and much more.
Owners John Rankin, Alex Kagianaris, and Samuel Chawinga, along with their dedicated team including Head Brewer Amber Sawicki and Production Manager Benjamin Turkel are thrilled to celebrate nearly a decade of crafting exceptional beer byshowcasing over twenty Craft Beer selections such as the Nose Job IPA, Las Palmas Pale Ale, and Mic Czech Pilsner along with fresh IPAs, Stouts, Sours Gluten-Free Seltzers, and more.
But the highlight of the celebration will be Boomtown Brewery’s BAD HOMBRE BAR featuring one-of-a-kind renditions of your favorite Mexican-style Lager.
No anniversary celebration would be complete without a stellar musical lineup of Live Entertainment featuring performances by Pearl and the Oysters, Al Lover DJ Set, Jonny Marfa and the Lights, You Knew Jack, and Ned Casual.
Boomtown Brewery proudly represents Los Angeles, a beacon for creativity and community in the DTLA Arts District. Crafting old-world, unfiltered, full-flavored beers with integrity, become a haven for expression and grit in the Arts District.
The Boomtown Tap Room serves as a community space for artists, makers, crafters, and a diverse community to come together and enjoy exceptional beer in a vibrant atmosphere.
From live music to trivia, open mic nights, food festivals, and more, Boomtown Brewery continues to contribute to the local community in meaningful ways. So, mark your calendars and save-the-date for Boomtown Brewery’s 9th Anniversary Celebration!
Boomtown Brewery’s 9th Anniversary Celebration will take place on Saturday, February 17th, 2024, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 am. This is a 21+ event after 8:00 pm. This event is Free to attend, and no tickets are needed.
For more information on Boomtown Brewery’s 9th Anniversary Celebration, please visit Boomtown Brewery’s 9th Anniversary Celebration!Post Views: 509
By Joe Winger — 4 months ago
Holidays 2023: Fresh Victor Puts the the drinker in charge with Fresh, Organic and Full Flavor Mixers.
Fresh Victor is a line of premium mixers for consistently delicious and efficient cocktails (and mocktails too.)
H. Ehrmann knows his cocktails
H. Ehrmann is a bartender and drinks industry consultant who runs Elixir, one of the most influential bars in San Francisco. In the industry for 35 years, owned a bar for 20 years.
Recently he hosted a virtual mixer walking us through several cocktails using Fresh Victor as the mixer: from non-alcoholic, to low alc, to full alcoholic.
Cold-pressed juice-based cocktail mixers. They have added sugar, either organic cane sugar or agave nectar used to balance out citrus levels to hit the intended brix level for most cocktails.
For example, with the Lemon Sour, the base is known as a pretty simple flavor profile. You can add another layer of flavor complexity (like a liqueur). But the Fresh Victor mixer was designed to have more depth, a bit more bitterness to handle any additional sweetness added.
Fresh Victor +1 or +2
All of the Fresh Victor bottles are designed to make delicious cocktails, but simply and easier. How? The amount of cocktails that can be made by adding just 1 or 2 ingredients plus the Fresh Victor mixer.
+1 is agave and tequila. Lemon Sour and whiskey.
+2 might be carbonation, frothing, aromatics, like: tonic, soda water, champagne, egg white, bitters.
“2-3 pours and a lot of flavor”
– H. Ehrmann
With those 3 elements and Fresh Victor’s 9 flavors, you can end up with dozens of drinks. From classics, to a spin-off of a classics (including mocktails).
Mixing ratios: 1: 1 and 2: 1.
1 1 / 2 oz of spirit to 2 ounces of mixer
2 oz of spirit to 2 ounces of mixer
If the drinker likes the taste of the alcohol, they want that taste to “punch” through, then then 2:2 is better for them. If they want the flavor sweeter, iding behind the mixer, 2:1 is the answer for them.
Fresh Victor is a mixer, not a juice. So it’s meant to take on dilution as you build your cocktail. Right out of the bottle, it’s a bit more concentrated, more dense. Meant to be stirred, shaken, reduced down without watering down the flavor. It can dilute 15-20% without losing quality.
Using Fresh Victor, you can create a 32 oz, 64 oz or a gallon punch bowl for a holiday party in less than 5 minutes. And it’s not a simple, lame flavor. It’s complex.
Orchard Bliss Royale
Non-alcoholic. When you add Champagne or Sparkling, it’s called “Royale” and today’s drink is adding Sparkling Cider.
4 oz sparkling cider
2 oz Fresh Victor (Three Citrus and Mint Leaf)
Garnish with dehydrated apple slices
The nose is refreshing. Vibrant apple. Effervescent on the palate, from the Sparkling. A balance of lemon, lime, orange. Plump, but not overwhelming. Mint notes that bring a tertiary element.
Suggestions include playing with adding a shot of vodka, rum or tequila, any of which would work well.
Fresh Victor mixers give a fruit-forward base that makes it easy to play and experiment with.
Winter Spice Tonic
“When mixed well, Gin impacts the overall character of your drink, but doesn’t get in your face”.
1 oz Tanqueray london dry gin
1 Oz Fresh Victor (Cactus Pomegranate)
4 oz Fever Tree Tonic
Garnish with vanilla bean, All-spice berries, Dehydrated Lemon
The nose is immediately the charming, floral aromatics you’d expect from the gin. Then slowly the baking spices express themselves. Deep character layers and complexity. A gush of tonic, then lingering vanilla and lemon.
Definitely a gin drink for someone who’s not a gin fan as it showcases the best of gin without being overwhelming.
Love a standard gin drink? Try Gin and Tonic with Fresh Victor’s Cucumber and Lime!
H. Ehrmann feels one the the reasons Fresh Victor is so popular is because people want to be able to make easy drinks at home that still have amazing flavor.
“I’ve taught cocktail classes for over ten years. As much as students love it and geek out over cocktail details at the bar. When they get home to their kitchen, they still prefer to have something easy. That’s a huge part of when Fresh Victor is.”
One of the keys to Fresh Victor is adaptability. The drinks are scalable and easy to experiment with. Having more guests than expected? Want stronger drinks? No alc of low-alc drinks?
“The 2 things that show us down when drinking cocktails, alcoholic strength and bitterness. Those are things that help us drag a cocktail out 10-20 minutes. Like, intentional speed bumps to keep you from drinking too fast. So removing the alcohol from a recipe, removes that speed bump. Adding more bitters, adds it back. It helps a non-alco drink feel more like a cocktail.”
How did Fresh Victor launch and grow during the struggles of the pandemic? Luck, hardwork and finding an audience that wants flavor. H. Ehrmann explains:
“Just before Covid, we decided to focus Fresh Victor on bars and restaurants. So Covid hits. We decided to re-package into a 16 oz bottle. Within 6 weeks we had these bottles available in 7 states direct to consumer. Within 2 months, we had 48 states direct to consumer. I shifted to selling cocktail kits from home and Fresh Victor was the perfect partner for me. Take a liter of tequila and a 64 oz bottle of Mexican lime and agave, you can make 32 margaritas. I was selling those kits like crazy. People were re-ordering every other day.”
2 oz of Fresh Victor (grapefruit and sea salt)
2 oz VSOP brandy
1 / 2 oz fig syrup
Try thinking of Fresh Victor less as a mixer or a juice and more as an ingredient. Think of it as an ingredient where you can use as much or as little as you want to make a more complex drink.
Explore from a culinary point of view. What other flavors mix?
Fresh Victor is all about experimenting. Trying different flavors. Adding spirits, garnishes and mixers that might not be traditional.
“All the ways you can use Fresh Vector. I went through the lexicon of cocktails. What can I make with lemon sour? What can I make with Mexican Agave? Then I’d look at more unique flavor profile and ask myself what can I make with that?”
Fresh Victor Holidays Flavors
H. Ehrmann suggests a twist this cold, holiday season. Think like a Hot Toddy. Simply warm up your Whiskey Sour, Lemon Drop, even your sangria. Anything that would normally go with ice, this time heat it up warm and toasty.Post Views: 12,689