For Keep Australia Beautiful Week we thought we’d get a few tips from some of our fave sustainable friends on how to do our bit.
Do you know our friend Meg Yonson? Meg is a recipe developer, art director & passionate foodie based in Sydney, who has been working professionally in the food space for 10 years. This week we asked Meg for her top tips and tricks on how she reuses and recycles for sustainability.
Top tips from Meg on how to reuse and recycle:
1. Reduce before you reuse
Before even thinking about reusing and recycling, we need to actively reduce, like reducing the amount of products we buy in plastic packaging, stop buying new produce when there’s still enough for a full meal in the fridge, opt to defrost meat in your freezer before buying more, use the zucchini in your fridge instead of a broccoli in your meal and avoid a trip to the shops, where you’re likely to buy more unnecessary things.
2. Reuse jars and food containers
I give my used jars (like my Beauty Food nut butter jar - link to shop) a good wash and use them to store dried herbs and spices, or my homemade pesto and sauces. For jars that still harbour a smell, like an old passata jar or vinegars, I use leftover ground coffee to scrub the jars clean and it completely deodorises them!
3. Re-use baking paper
You can get quite a few uses out of a sheet of baking paper. Just wipe clean with a wet kitchen cloth and fold to store. You’ll be able to bake quite a few batches of cookies on this one sheet!
4. Do not chuck any produce!
I don’t chuck produce from my fridge, ever. Or any protein for that matter... I just don’t let myself get to a point where I have mouldy cucumbers, carrots or expired meat. I know what’s in my fridge, and so I build my meals around it, or freeze for later.
5. Get composting with anything left
The best thing I did for my food waste was get a Bokashi compost bin for my balcony. Being actively involved in composting my scraps is, to be honest, an effort. So, I will always use up my scraps in cooking - I eat all my vegetable nubs, use onion skins in stock, add veggies that don’t-really-go into meals - just to avoid my compost creeping up to a point that I need to take it to the local community gardens or find a spot to bury it!
6. Find another purpose for all packaging that enters your kitchen
I learnt this from watching Sarah Wilson do it as a non negotiable. I turn my cheese packets into zip lock bags to freeze my bananas in, use emptied supplement containers as spice jars, tape up cereal boxes filled with treats for my dog, for him to use as a toy to tear apart, elastic bands from my broccoli or asparagus are used to close packets of rice and pasta.
7. Recycle properly!
We can’t be lazy recyclers. If we choose to buy products that are packaged, it’s our responsibility to recycle them properly. Before recycling, remove sticky tape from boxes, remove food scraps and crumbs from containers and boxes, scrunch up foil into a tennis size ball and remove lids from yoghurt, wine and other drink containers. It’s also our responsibility to read up on our local council's guidelines for household recycling.
Time to reuse and recycle Beauty Foodies!