Just in time for Earth Day, I’m sharing these seven tips for greening your kitchen from some of my favorite dietitians. Remember, your personal eating style is one of the most powerful things you can do, as an individual, to lighten your footprint on Mother Earth. Cut down on food waste, eat mostly plants, and avoid highly processed foods and you can make a big difference. Let’s get greener together!

Use the whole vegetable—even those radish tops—to cut down on food waste.

1. Keep your scraps. Anytime you are chopping vegetables, keep the peels of carrots, ends of onions, etc. and store in the freezer. Once you have a good amount you can make a homemade broth. –Julie Harrington, RD, Culinary Nutrition Communications Consultant of RDelicious Kitchen

2. Use the whole vegetable. Beet greens, carrot greens, kale stems – they can all be sautéed into a delicious stir fry or pureed into a peppery dressing! –Whitney English, Blogger at To Live & Diet in L.A.

Buy more local foods in your community to reduce food miles.

3. Plan your meals for the week based on what you already have in your kitchen. This helps reduce food waste and ensures you have healthy meals on the table for the week! –Culinary nutrition expert Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN

4. Become friends with your freezer again. Many leftovers sit in the fridge too long and must be thrown away. If you know that you may not eat your leftovers such as soup, chili, bread, beans, and even cookies before they go bad, find a freezer bag or container, freeze time, and save those leftovers for another meal. –Sarah Pflugradt, MS, RDN, LDN of Salubrious RD

Try growing some of your own food to really cut back on food miles.

5. Eliminate the need for paper towels and napkins by investing in cloth or microfiber napkins and towels. These reusable, long lasting clothes may have a startup investment cost, but you’ll never have to worry about scrambling to refill the paper towel holder or killing trees when you’re cleaning up a spill. –Nikki Nies, RDN, We Dish Nutrition.   Use bee’s wrap instead of plastic wrap – it’s washable, reusable, and compostable! -Gillean Barkyoumb, MS, RD, Millennial Nutrition

6. Shop in bulk to help reduce packaging waste and eliminate over processing, keeping our planet and our body healthy. Extra credit if you bring your own reusable container and subtract the weight from the total amount. You can find almost any product you need in bulk: coffee, tea, spices, baking ingredients, beans, nuts, pasta, grains, and even beer and wine. –Erin Hendrickson, RDN, blogger at Minimalist RD

Eat more minimally processed whole foods—without packaging—to reduce your eco-impact.

7. Reduce food waste: prepping food so it’s easily accessible and ready to eat. That majorly reduces food waste for me. I also keep foods that are on their way out (or close to it) right in the front of my fridge so I’m reminded of them. –Rebecca Clyde MS, RDN, CD, Nourish Nutrition

Images: Sharon Palmer, RDN


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