Reduce food waste with kitchen design and communal living
Updated: Sep 11
Today, Zero Waste Week set a challenge to: 'share the love for reducing food waste, by thinking of a better storage tip.' The website already has some great tips, and they will be sharing more throughout the day. Vegan Family Guide recommends many plastic free family products too.
The small kitchen in our old London flat
We designed our little kitchen so as we could always see what we had. This meant nothing got lost at the back of a cupboard and went out of date.
Shallow shelves instead of cupboards gave a spacious feeling to the small room- and kept everything visible. This also means anyone else using the kitchen can quickly see where we left things.
We kept supplies in glass jars, with larger ones at the back and smaller ones at the front. Since the jars are see through, it was easy to see what was behind. Many of the jars were bought in charity shops.
I arranged herbal tea bags in tiny shelves, to make a colourful worktop display. Again, this means the boxes didn't drift away to the back of a cupboard, and I could easily tell guests what was there. (Guests very often bring us herbal tea bags, probably because we don't drink). This is similar to a spice rack.
When the veg box arrived, I would put the things which go off quickest nearer the front; so as I remember to use them first.
We bought non-perishable foods in bulk, and stored them in the spare room. It was great having lots of tins to cook easily while the baby was small!
Sharing cupboard in a shared house
As a single student person I lived in various places; including a Buddhist centre in Canterbury, and a place locally referred to as 'Nut House' in Norwich.
These both had a 'communal cupboard'. We kept things such as seasonings and oils in here; things where you get too much in a pack for a one person.
The community shop and common house in our new cohousing project
We will shortly move into an existing cohousing community... and then into another new one once it is built.
Community shop- The community shop stocks bulk dried items, whole food groceries and locally produced fruit and vegetables. These are bought wholesale, you pay cost price, and it is easy to pop in every day since it's nearby. The convenience means you can take what you need day by day, reducing the amount of things rotting in your own fridge. The communal aspect means that there will always be someone who wants what you don't.
Communal meals- (once Covid is over) will be a great opportunity to use things up from the communal shop, and perhaps share our own things from the house.