Cook and eat more sustainably in the Northern Districts this summer

January is a great time to introduce some new habits and ideas to your life, and what could be better than cooking and eating more sustainably?

Not only will it often save you money, it will also help the planet.

Here are five easy ways to a more sustainable kitchen this summer:

Turn your food scraps into compost

Did you know that food scraps that go into your garden will not only improve your soil, but also produce fewer carbon emissions than waste that goes to landfill? There are lots of easy ways to make free compost from your veggie scraps.

A worm farm is fun if you have kids who love creepy crawlies. And another benefit of worms is that they produce a liquid fertiliser you can pour onto your garden.

Alternatively, install an in-ground worm farm – or two or three – around your garden for a more low-maintenance option. Simply dig in the worm farm, fill the base with worms (available from a garden centre) and drop in your food scraps.

Eat local, seasonal food

In an era when we have every fruit and vegetable available year round in our supermarkets, it’s easy to forget how much more delicious food is when it’s in season. Plus, it’s cheaper. Visit your local growers’ market or farmers’ market to discover food that’s locally grown and harvested at the peak of its season. The Hornsby Market is great for picking up some fresh fruit and veg, local honey and delicious hot food such as satay. It runs every Thursday from 8am to 2.30pm in Hornsby Mall.

Cutting down on meat is another way to be more sustainable in the kitchen. Introducing Meat-free Mondays to your home is a great start — check out the website for some brilliant celebrity chef recipes.

Buy good-quality kitchenware

Plastic is cheap and durable, but it’s not great for food storage, as the chemicals in the plastic can leach into food. Consider replacing your worn-out plastic items over time with glass food containers and durable items such as metal drink straws and clothes pegs.

Another way to buy more sustainably is to shop for vintage kitchenware — TriBecas Vintage on Etsy has some lovely old Australian pieces.

Get creative

Rather than relying on one-use plastic wrap and paper napkins, crafty types — or those looking for a school holiday project — will enjoy making some beautiful kitchen items such as cloth napkins or beeswax covered food wraps. You can wash and re-use them and they make great gifts, too.

Use your appliances correctly to minimise energy use

Using your dishwasher is (happily) more water-efficient than washing by hand, as long as you follow a few simple guidelines. Only run your dishwasher when it’s full, and don’t pre-rinse everything under a running tap before loading. Most dishwashers are now powerful enough to remove dirt without the need to pre-rinse.

When the time comes to upgrade your dishwasher, go for one with a high energy-efficiency rating in line with your needs.

Your fridge can also use a lot of energy if you keep it too cool. Storing your food in glass rather than plastic containers in the fridge will keep it cooler and fresher. It’s also important to clean the coils on the back of your fridge once every six months to ensure the appliance is working efficiently.

Get your shopping bags sorted

We are all getting used to carrying our cloth bags to the supermarket — but what about those wasteful one-use fruit and veg bags? Strictly speaking they are no longer needed, thanks to net produce bags you can take to the shops with you. These are readily available online.

Talk to me!

I love to meet residents in my main selling areas of Thornleigh, Westleigh, Pennant Hills and Normanhurst – please feel free to get in touch if you are thinking of selling or buying in the Northern Districts.


Karen Page
Friendly, caring and attentive, Karen Page is a customer focused professional with a genuine passion for helping people transition through the different stages of their life.