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Eat for the planet: Sustainable Cooking Tips

The word sustainability is used extensively but few people try to put words into practice reducing the impact of their own footprint. Besides promoting sustainability we need to commit daily to a lifestyle where we reuse leftovers and reduce waste as much as possible. Making the correct choices is also very important as buying a product in season with 0 km impacts the environment less than another one imported from a different continent.

Also, when I speak of sustainability I am not referring only to environmental practices but also to a broader and more ethical reflection, not only related to our consumption but the impact they generate to the surroundings, the people and also all living creatures. If we exclude from the big decisions that still need to be taken by governments, we’re left with what we decide to do or not to do every day. Each of our actions can make a difference, influencing the market and the impact of what we consume. This is also the reason why I promote with family and friends recipes, products and practices which are eco-friendly so while they appreciate them automatically they will integrate them into their own lifestyle without necessary labelling themselves as vegan, vegetarian or any other name.


  1. Make the Weekly Menu and Reduce Waste
  2. Drink Tap or Well Water
  3. Vary Your Menu
  4. Buy Ethical Products
  5. Purchase Bulk Products to Avoid Packaging
  6. Buy Seasonal and Local Products
  7. Avoid Single Use
  8. Reduce Water Waste
  9. Use All the Parts of Food


This is to reducing food waste while also avoiding binge eating and finally having more money in our pockets at the end of the month. Planning meals in advance allows us to fill the shopping cart with awareness, buying what we need and then make it to the end of the week without throwing away excess food.

Food waste is not only a sin, as our grandmothers and ancestors thought us, but it’s a huge environmental problem. This is the reason why the entire food production engine works at a frenetic pace. All the food we buy, even what ends up in the trash, contributes to market demand and drives the whole machine to produce it in huge quantities – decidedly higher than what we really consume. This adds up industrial emissions, depletes soil quality, causes overcrowding of farms, and increases abuse of substances to protect crops and animals which interferes with natural cycles and pollute the groundwater.

What can we do as consumers? If we plan well, we risk having too much leftovers that end up in the bin. Furthermore, during weekdays I find it’s very helpful to cook recipes that you can freeze so in that way I don’t overeat and I have a bunch of extra meals for when I’m short of time. Every small detail can have a positive impact not only on the environment but also on our daily lives, since buying less also means saving a lot which is a great incentive to give it a try.


Excluding some areas where tap water isn’t recommended, if your tap water’s quality is good try to make use of it as much as possible. If we love sparkling water we could consider buying a carbonator .

If your tap water’s quality isn’t that good you can also install a reverse osmosis making sure to throw the remaining water for washing floors for example. If you’re not sure of your water quality you can get your water tested for metals, presence of bacteria, rust or soil.

The real advantage, in terms of sustainability, of drinking tap water lies above all in reducing the emissions generated by the transport – which takes place for the most part by road – of the bottled product. Each one litre bottle of water weighs 1 kg plus and every day thousands of trucks loaded with tons of water move along the highways, which requires tons of fuel and generates therefore a significant pollution that we could easily do without. Added to this, not using bottled water reduces drastically the production and treatment of plastics and all the casings designed to contain it.

Home delivery services for water also contribute to this type of pollution since those waters are purchased in large quantities and even from great distances and therefore, before ending up on small vans – perhaps even electric ones, perhaps – they have produced mountains of CO2 which the planet would gladly have done without. Finally, this too is a habit that can lead to considerable savings and therefore also in this case, the economic incentive can motivate us.


The well-being of our generations has exploded the consumption of meat and fish, causing an intensification of breeding. Intensive farms and cultivation now pollute more than cars therefore paying more attention to what we consume and where it comes from can be an important contribution to reducing some problems.

Eating less food of animal origin weekly can have a massive effect, not only to our earth. By diversifying our consumption, enriching our diet with legumes and vegetable dishes and spend the same money but making sure to buy the meat or fish from small local farms which make more ethical choices as regards taking care of the the animals and the environment around them guaranteeing human wellbeing.


We always speak about how animals in farms are treated but many times we ignore to think about human wellbeing, those who are exploited harvesting tomatoes under the scorching sun just to give one example. We cannot forget the human implications. How much our food cost in terms of quality of life for others?

Everything is connected together like a chain – sustainability, human wellbeing, animal welfare, quality of air, soil, water and health. Behind every product there is a supply chain also made up of people who we owe respect. We shouldn’t support exploitation of people just to save a few pennies.


The packaging of the products we feed on and makes them more attractive to consumers are the number one pollutants in today’s world but not only. Effectively, even glass and paper require industrial processes that impacts the environment even if we encourage reuse and recycling. 

So how can we make smarter choices? Many foods can be purchased in bulk without great effort. Take a look at suppliers where you can buy organic legumes, cereals, dried fruit, olives and spices and remember to take your own containers, getting them filled directly, thus eliminating the use of packaging creating unnecessary waste.

This can also be applied to tea, herbal teas and coffee avoiding the use of pods. Here at WellbeingBarista we love good quality coffee and we have a guide to roast coffee from scratch and also many other coffee recipes to make your favorite coffee without the needs to use pods.


In my blog but also on social media we’re bombarded with recipes that use products that are out of season. We eat strawberries for Valentines, tomatoes all year round , cherries at Christmas, watermelon from Spring to Autumn, and we eat our ratatouilles using aubergines, peppers and courgettes all year long.

Here, in my blog I don’t know if the person accessing the blog comes from California, Europe or Australia and so might not always suggest the right recipe to use for sustainability. However, all we need is to go to a farmer’s market and ask them directly if these were grown in greenhouses or not so that we choose certain when they are in season. But, sometimes choosing produce that was grown in greenhouses is smarter than opting for products that to reach our tables travel halfway around the glob on ships that litter our seas and consume so much fuel. Obviously not everything can be purchased at km 0, because certain fruits or vegetables only grow at certain latitudes, but we can still choose the closest origin.


If we set up our minds and look into our kitchen we will find plenty of things that we use once and then throw away. Let’s look together at some examples trying to find feasible solutions:

Plastic Wrap: We can replace this by using resealable and washable containers.

Parchment Paper: You can give a try to silicone sheets or reusable parchment paper.

Aluminium Foil: I don’t like using this very much because of the impact of aluminium foil on health but we also know that some recipes demand it. In this case, I often reuse the sheets as much as possible.

Plastic cutlery: If you really need something light or alternative then use wooden cutlery and bamboo plates. At home, you can always keep some extra plates, glasses and cutlery you can buy cheaply at Ikea so that you always have an option when unexpected guests knock at your door.

Paper napkins: Up to now I haven’t really found something environmentally friendly to replace this as even bleaching and washing up fabric napkins is not really environmentally friendly.


Water is the element that we waste the most given that in the kitchen is essential for cooking, for cleaning ingredients and tools. It is a precious commodity that we should learn not to take so much for granted.

So let’s start by turning off the tap when we are not using running water. Use a dishwasher as it consumes much less water if you do a full load taking advantage of the eco cycles.

We can also be wiser and reuse the water used to boil our veggies and pasta to water the plants. We have also used water from ACs to wash floor and even water the plants. Of course I’m not saying that using air conditioners is environmental friendly but unfortunately if you live in a top floor apartment with huge windows in hot climates this becomes also a necessity in some summer afternoons. So just because we’re not 100% environmental friendly in our choices that doesn’t mean we need to ignore the rest!


Let’s use these precious resources to enrich our cuisine. Artichoke stems, beetroot stems, broccoli and cauliflower stems are delicious, celery leaves, radishes and carrots are perfect for making pestos and omelettes, potato peels look great on baked potatoes but also become delicious chips. Did you know that the peels of Parmesan or Grana are perfect for enriching soups and broths. Additionally, the outer and less noble parts of our vegetables can be washed, dried and used to cook broth.

Garlic Scape Pesto

Crispy Airfried Potatoes

Homemade Vegetable Stock

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