With everything going on in the world it’s hard to remember to cook at all, let alone how to focus on sustainable grocery shopping and cooking. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to make small, simple changes in your everyday cooking and eating. Whether that means learning how to use kitchen scraps or just shopping locally whenever possible, the little changes you make today can add up to big improvements on the road to a more sustainable life, healthier planet and smaller carbon footprint.
Make Use of Leftovers
When learning how to cook sustainably, the first step is to start reducing kitchen waste. You can do this by exploring how to use kitchen scraps in your everyday cooking. Make even the smallest of leftovers into entirely new meals by adding rice and turning them into simple stir-frys or mixing in your favorite legumes for a protein-packed entrée like our Bacon & Bean hot dogs. Have a box of pasta you don’t know what to do with? Create our Pasta e Fagioli today! You can even take reducing kitchen waste a step further by picking up a small kitchen compost bin or making your own with a sealable container with a few small holes drilled in the lid.
Choose Reusable Products
In addition to reducing food waste in the kitchen, it’s important to reduce the waste of paper and plastic that accumulates after shopping and cooking. Try and bring reusable, cloth bags for grocery shopping and bagging produce. If COVID-19 precautions at your store do not allow reusable bags, repurpose plastic bags as garbage liners in the small trash cans around your house in the bathroom and bedrooms until those precautions are lifted. Replace paper towels with washable, heavy duty cloth towels and plastic containers with glass for more sustainable cleaning and storage. Less kitchen waste also means less trips to take out the garbage, saving you time to enjoy your more sustainable kitchen!
Even if you don’t want to dive in headfirst to a plant-based lifestyle, incorporating more plant-based, sustainable meats and other plant-based products like the Impossible Burger or Beyond Meat products into your lifestyle is another great way to limit your carbon footprint. Replacing one meal a week with a veggie or vegan option or using plant-based proteins in your burgers and sandwiches can help ease you and your family into more sustainable eating without it feeling like too much of a change.
Or, start this week with one of our delicious meat-free recipes:
Buy Seasonal Produce
Limit produce waste by only buying what you know you’ll use and shopping for items when they are in-season. Bought too many lemons into lemonade works even if your lemons are a little lumpy!
Shopping for local products and produce is a great, easy way to promote sustainability while supporting your community. Shopping locally means your items aren't using an excess amount of fuel or energy to get to you and are as fresh as they can possibly be. Choosing “farm to table” items not only results in higher quality ingredients, but helps a small business in your backyard succeed. At Giant Eagle, GetGo and Market District we’re proud to work with local businesses in cities like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis and countless small towns across our states. Check out some of our favorite local shops today!