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In this weeks newsletter we look at the second half of a very comprehensive guide in going green in the kitchen. Topics covered include: Buying local products, bulking up to save money, what to do with waste, cleaning the kitchen naturally and tips on remodelling. In our Awesome Website of the Week we look at TheKitchenDesigner. Susan Serra is THE go-to kitchen guru in the States and is the real deal! The purpose of her blog is to to share her experience, perspective, knowledge and NEW information on kitchen design. So if you are interested in remodling your kitchen, check out her blog for new ideas.
Wickedfood Cooking School News
Green ideas for your Home
How to Go Green: In the Kitchen Part 2
The eco-friendly kitchen begins with eating green, but it doesn’t end there. Energy-efficient food preparation and cleaning habits, using equipment made from sustainable materials, and dodging toxic chemicals are also important if you want to have a truly healthy kitchen. Fortunately, making the right choices for your well-being is also good for the pocket and the planet. Our straightforward and simple suggestions for preparing earth-friendly meals–from fridge to food to cleanup–will turn you into a greener gourmet in no time.
Top Green Kitchen Tips
6. Buy Local
The food you bring in to your kitchen is just as important as the gadgets and appliances you have there, so buy local whenever you can. Food miles have risen near the top of eco-friendly food considerations, and the fewer miles from farm to table, the better. Organic grapes from Chile might taste good in the dead of winter, but consider the pollution caused by flying them to wherever you are. In addition, since they're bereft of preservatives, biocides and many other nasties that inhabit conventional foods, organic foods can spoil more quickly, meaning that the longer your bunch of grapes is in transit, the less pristine its condition is likely to be. Whenever possible, we recommend supporting a community supported agriculture (CSA) co-op, buying from local farmers' markets or purchasing directly from farmers themselves.
7. Bulk Up
Buy in bulk and cook in bulk; just make sure you can consume what you purchase and produce! (See Waste Not, Want Not below for more details on that). Purchasing from the bulk bins mean less packaging, and fewer trips to the store, and can also mean financial savings. It's not just for groceries, either: for example, you can buy bulk packages of towels intended for cleaning and detailing cars, and use them in the kitchen. They're extremely sturdy and a lot cheaper than most kitchen towels (not to mention much less disposable than paper towels). Bulk cooking is a more efficient use of appliance energy and your time, (and a great excuse to throw a party), so cook up a nice big pot of soup and anticipate saving (and eating) lots of leftovers. And plan ahead; planning meals that can feed you and your family for a few days is a great way to shop efficiently and free up your precious leisure time.
8. Waste Not, Want Not
On average, the kitchen generates the most waste of any room in your house; for one of the main reasons, look no further at the excessive packaging on supermarket shelves. But fear not, it’s not as hard as it may seem to cut back on waste. Step one: refuse excessive packaging by taking your own bags, buying fresh, unwrapped produce, and thinking carefully about how the purchases you're making are wrapped up. Step two: avoid over-sized portions; if you are regularly throwing food away then you are buying, and cooking, too much. Step three: reuse what you can, like old glass jars or bottles, grocery bags, and packaging you can't avoid. Step four: Tick Data Suite
/2007/07/green-basics-compost.php”>compost any uncooked organic waste (including cardboard and paper), and don't fret if you don't have a garden on which to spread your yummy humus. Even in big cities, many local farmers markets and organisations will gladly accept your compost. After all this, if there's anything left over, be sure to swing by the recycle bin before tossing anything in the trash.
9. Green Kitchens Can Be Clean Kitchens
The list of what goes into regular petrochemically-based dishwashing liquids, detergents, floor and surface cleaners and other household cleaning products is enough to turn anyone's stomach. Fortunately there are plenty of natural cleaning companies out there producing non-toxic, biodegradable, plant-based detergents (see our How to Green Your Cleaning for more details). And as we mentioned in the Do It Yourself tip above, you can always create your own cleaning products using everyday ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda, which combine to make a great all-purpose, non-toxic cleaner.
Of course, making your old kitchen work for you is the greenest option of them all, but there comes a time when even the greenest folks need to upgrade or replace. If you are in the market for a new kitchen, turn first to salvage and antiques. They don't make 'em like they used to, so look for kitchen fittings, floors, paneling, and cabinets that have had a previous life are unique and have already stood the test of time. If you’re trading things out, be sure to offer them on Gumtree or Junkmail before kicking them to the curb.If reclaimed materials won't do the job for you, there are plenty of green options for new materials too. Green countertops made of recycled paper and yoghurt pots, to bamboo and cork flooring — be sure to your homework about the options available and their environmental impact (remember, all bamboo is not created equal)
70 percent: The amount of household and yard waste that can be composted rather than thrown in the trash.
Awesome website of the week:
The Kitchen Designer blog, by Susan Serra, CKD, CAPS, NKBA/USGBC Member
Her purpose is to explore new ways of thinking about kitchen design. She'll share her thoughts on the process of kitchen design, explore fresh ideas, emerging trends, and will also redefine (or celebrate!) tradition.
A kitchen should be more than replicating images from a catalog or magazine into the home, whether traditional OR modern design. Instead, express your individuality and create a meaningful space to live and work in!
Susan been a professional kitchen designer for 20+ years and she truly LOVE's kitchens – “it's the place where we find physical and spiritual nourishment-it's far more than a cabinet finish! “
Susan Serra, CKD, CAPS, NKBA
Moments before a famous Shakespearean actor was to perform Hamlet to a packed house in New York, he dropped dead. The house manager solemnly went onstage and announced, “We are sorry to bring you this news, but our performance tonight has been canceled due to the untimely demise of our featured performer.”
From the back of the theater a voice cried out, “Give him some chicken soup!”
Startled, the stage manager cleared his throat and replied, “I apologize if in my grief I have not made my solemn message clear. The man is deceased.”
Once again, but more emphatically the voice rang out, “Give him some chicken soup!”
Having had about enough, the manager bellowed back, “Sir, the man is dead. Giving him chicken soup couldn't possibly help.”
To which the voice replied, “It couldn't hurt!”
The Wickedfood Team
Wickedfood Cooking School runs classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cooking lessons are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.
Our cooking courses are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes, these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.