earth week 2021 - tuesday

The kitchen is one of the most used parts of the home and is also the place where the most waste is generated.

There are many simple, easy to make changes you can make in your daily routine in order to have a more sustainable kitchen.

In preparation for Earth Day, pick one or more of the tips below and try it out for a full week. If something works for you, stick to it. After a while, you will be well on your way in helping to restore our earth.


  • Californians throw away nearly 6 million tons of food scraps or food waste each year. This represents about 18 percent of all the material going into landfills. Source

  • 20% of the state’s methane, a climate super pollutant 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide, comes comes from organic wastes (food scraps and green waste) arriving at the landfill. Source

  • Many commercial cleaning products can present several health and environmental concerns. You can find out which ones through the US EPA. Source

Start a Compost Bin

Build your own compost bin or pile. There are many designs ranging from apartment living to the large-acreage lifestyle. Here are 23 ingenious do-it-yourself compost bin ideas and learn more about composting in this video and from CalRecycle.

Regrow Your Food Scraps

Compost only what you cannot use again; challenge yourself to find new ways to use food scraps for other recipes or to regrow produce [video] on your window sill. Click here to find out how to regrow lettuce on a window sill.

DIY Cleaning Products

Many commercial household cleaners contain harmful toxins, require a lot of plastic for bottling, and are more expensive in the long run. Here are instructions for making your own household cleaners that are just as effective, healthier, and cheaper.

Buy in Bulk or in Bulk Sizes

Buying in bulk typically saves money and time while reducing packaging waste. When shopping, take advantage of bulk bins or opt for that family size of chips instead of smaller, individual packages. You will create less waste in the long run.

Refuse the Refuse

When shopping, refuse to buy items that are packaged or overly packaged. If going entirely trash free seems too hard, start with a few simple swaps: buy the unpackaged bananas instead of the ones wrapped in plastic, or the bulk carrots instead of the bagged ones.

Ditch the Disposable Wipes

Old t-shirts, wash cloths, and flannel blankets all make excellent substitutes for paper towels and disinfectant wipes when paired with your DIY cleaning solution. Cut fabric into hand or paper towel sized rectangles and keep in a nice basket or jar next to your sink.

Be Kind to the Garbage Disposal

Ask your plumber or local wastewater treatment plant what not to feed the garbage disposal in your sink, and they'll tell you to avoid adding cooking oil, bones, pasta, egg shells, paper towels and wipes, trash, paint, or any cleaning down the drain. Learn why by clicking here.

Practice Energy Efficient Cooking

Many common cooking techniques use energy unnecessarily. A few simple changes can be a major step to a greener kitchen overall: stop preheating the oven, turn off burners or ovens in the last few minutes of cooking, and try using smaller appliances like pressure cookers whenever possible.