Environmental Protection Begins in the Kitchen
August 10, 2018

As an environment-conscious consumer, no matter how skilled and resourceful you become in your efforts to eliminate food waste at home or in the office, there will always be some unusable food bits that cannot be creatively put into a second day stew or packed into a bag lunch–avocado skins and egg shells, for instance.  That does not mean that these items, on which you have spent your hard-earned money, need be chalked up as waste or become fodder for an environmentally unfriendly landfill.  Indeed, with a little thought, you will find that there are ways to extract benefits out of most any food scrap while doing your part in the fight for improved environmental protection measures.

Some simple solutions include using shells, like those of peanuts, as mulch in the flower bed or garden, or using a handful of the shells of high-oil-content nuts (like walnut and pistachio) as an accelerant when starting a blaze in the fireplace.  (Citrus peels left to air dry on a countertop also make great, and fragrant, fire boosters, particularly if you are working with damp wood or particularly difficult tinder and kindling.)  Clean, dry oyster shells give your plants a boost of calcium, just as rinsed and dried shrimp peels will feed the beneficial soil microbes that help your plants thrive (just bury them at the base).

For those who are not keen on traditional composting, did you know that roses thrive when you work banana peels directly into the soil around them or that you can spread spent coffee grounds directly at the base of plants or trees?  How about non-traditional, indoor composting that allows for a smell- and hassle-free experience, irrespective of your living situation and space?  Today’s compact, electric, indoor composters allow you to process every last scrap–without odor–into a nutrient rich feed for your house plants, fruit trees, shrubs, tomato plants, or prized petunias.  These units are small enough to fit under a kitchen sink at home or in the office, but can alternatively be kept in a garage or on a covered balcony, allowing you to reclaim value and practice an environmental protection measure even from items that have spoiled or that have no other practical use (tops of cut pineapple, for instance).

The next time you finish preparing food at home or eating a packed lunch at work, take a moment to reflect on how your handling of the food waste can be an act of environmental protection.  Let someone else feed the landfill.

 

 

August 10, 2018
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