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Sustainable cooking tips

Sustainable cooking - 15 tips for climate-friendly cuisine

How can you actually cook sustainably and eat in a climate-friendly way? And why is this so important? The food sector is responsible for around 40 percent of European greenhouse gas emissions - these gases are the main accelerator of climate change. global warming.₁ Ultimately, we are jeopardizing our food security through our own eating habits. Fortunately, more and more people are changing their habits and live more sustainable consciously - This also applies to the food and meals that end up on your plate.

In this article, I'd like to show you how you can cook in a more environmentally friendly way with just a few simple tips and tricks - let's go!

Notice: Even more reasons for a Sustainable nutrition in the last, motivating tip of this article!

15 tips for sustainable cooking

We can all do our bit to make our diet more environmentally friendly. Therefore, use the following tips for sustainable cooking, which apply to both the Production and Purchasing of food, to which Storage and the Preparationas well as cleaning and tidying the kitchen.

Notice: Maybe you already know some of the tips - great! But I think there's something new here for everyone.

1. regional instead of global

By preferring food from your region, you avoid long transportation routes by ship, truck or plane. If you consciously choose food that can also grow in your area, also automatically reduces the associated resource consumption. At the same time, you support the businesses "around the corner" and strengthen the regional economy.

You can find out more about this in the detailed article about the regional shopping.

2. seasonal instead of year-round

Broccoli and cauliflower, for example, are in season from June to October. Outside of this period their cultivation is associated with longer transportation routes or energy-intensive greenhouses. That is also why they are usually more expensive when they are not in season.

Simply use a seasonal calendar as a clear aid. The weekly markets in your area are a great place to go for seasonal food with a regional background. You can find out more about seasonality in the detailed article on the seasonal shopping.

3. vegetable instead of animal

You could write whole books about this tip for sustainable cooking. I'll try to keep it short: to produce one animal calorie, an average of seven plant calories are consumed.₂ It would therefore make much more sense to consume the feed that we grow for the animals in factory farming so that we can enjoy their meat, eggs and milk ourselves. At the same time, we would Deforestation of the rainforests which have to make way for the cultivation of soy as animal feed and for new pastures.

There are still so many good Reasons to eat a plant-based diet. Suitable and further articles are, for example, the following:

4. organic instead of conventional

If you want to cook sustainably, you should also consciously choose products with an organic background over conventional products. In this way, you support businesses with organic farmingwhich slows down its products somewhat, but instead environmental and resource-saving produce. Hardly any pesticides are used and animal welfare is also a top priority. Of course, organic food is not beyond reproach, but it is more natural, contains fewer harmful substances and tastes much better. You can easily identify them using the organic seal.

5. fresh instead of processed

Tips for environmentally friendly cooking - regionality

The more unprocessed, the more sustainable. So get your food as fresh and whole as possible. Ready meals or processed products from the supermarket already have a longer production process behind them, including the CO2 impact. They are also usually packed with sugar or preservatives. The list of ingredients is therefore a good guide - the shorter it is, the better.

6. loose, instead of packed in plastic

Everyone knows the problem with the Plastic waste in the environmentt. Our diet, with its vast quantities of packaged convenience foods and quick to-go snacks, plays a decisive role in this.

So if you want to cook sustainably, you should already have Make a conscious effort to avoid plastic when shopping. Buy food in bulk as much as possible. This works pretty well in the supermarket with a little practice - but it works even better at weekly markets and unpackaged stores. Just take Preserving jars, Stainless steel cans and a jute bag with you when you go shopping - then it will be so much easier.

Here, too, I have further articles for you:

7. conscious instead of wasteful

Realize that every food has a story. Some have traveled halfway around the world, others have consumed vast amounts of clean water before they reach your plate. Food waste is a massive problem in our "throwaway society". Every year, 356 million kilograms of meat are thrown away in Germany alone. 45 million chickens, 4 million pigs and 200,000 cattle die in vain as a result.₃

To reduce this waste, for example, you should simply shop according to a plan. Write down what you want to eat in the coming week. And shop strictly according to your shopping list and avoid spontaneous purchases. Just take a look at the article about the Reduce food waste. There you will find a cornucopia of tips. Also the article Preserving food for longer will help you.

Tip: Did you know that you can also save food, enjoy it for free and distribute it to friends? With the concept of the FoodSharings this works very simply.

8. store food in an energy efficient way

You should not only value the food itself - but also the energy associated with it in your household as part of sustainable cooking. The basis for storing your achievements from the supermarket is usually your Refrigerator the display. Make sure that it is not placed in the sun or near a heater, otherwise it will consume huge amounts of energy. Ideally, it should be just as big as it needs to be for your household - because the fuller it is, the lower the energy consumption.

By then sorting the food correctly into the relevant fridge compartmentyou are even more environmentally friendly. After all, they will last a few days longer and won't end up in the garbage can at all, or at least only in reduced numbers. Here is a brief overview₄ of the compartments:

  • Refrigerator door (about 10° C): Ideal for butter, sauces, milk or drinks.
  • Top shelf (approx. 8° C): Ideal for jam, hard cheese or pickles.
  • Medium compartment (approx. 5° C): Ideal for quark, yogurt or cheese.
  • Lower compartment (approx. 2° C): Ideal for perishable items such as meat or fish.
  • Vegetable compartment (about 10 - 12° C): Ideal for strawberries, spinach, broccoli or leaf salads.

9. save electricity during preparation

Of course, processing fresh food in the kitchen also requires some energy, because not everything can be enjoyed raw. If you make a lasagne in the oven, for example, you can use the Utilize residual heat and simply turn it off 2-3 minutes before you take your food out. The stove works in a similar way. And by letting leftovers from hot meals cool down in the fridge before you put them in, you help the fridge not to consume too much energy unnecessarily.

In the article about the Saving energy in the home you can pick up lots more tips for sustainable cooking.

10. save water when cooking

Water you can drink with your meals directly, as well as indirectly save water. Directly, for example, by washing food in a bowl of water and not under the running tap. Indirectly, by eating only or more of the foods that are not among those with the highest water consumption. Here is a brief overview of some extremely water-intensive foods:

  • Cocoa
  • Roasted coffee
  • Beef
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Avocados

11. use environmentally friendly kitchen utensils

The cooking spoon you use should preferably be made from durable and rapidly renewable raw materials, such as bamboo wood. By investing a little more money once in sturdy kitchen utensils, you are conserving natural resources and saving yourself from constantly buying new ones. So if a kitchen appliance breaks, you should take the opportunity to replace it with a sustainable alternative.

Tip: Nowadays, many kitchen appliances are powered by batteries or electricity for convenience. But do you really need an electric citrus juicer? If you have two healthy hands, you can use manual Juice presses from wood change

12. leftover recycling

If you want to cook sustainably, you shouldn't lose track of the lose food in your "warehouse" that is about to expire. Otherwise, an unnecessary amount will end up in the garbage can and negate all the production effort. By only buying what you really need, you lay the foundation for as little superfluous food as possible in the fridge. But by "cooking up" the last leftovers, you round off your conscious cooking behavior. Many things can still be turned into salads or soups - and your neighbors will certainly be happy if you bring them some food.

13. proper disposal

Even if you consciously avoid waste, it cannot always be completely avoided. Therefore, make sure that even after cooking, you Separate waste correctly. To make the best possible use of the organic waste we produce, we also use a Worm box. Within a few weeks, earthworms break it down into fertile soil that can be used to grow plants on the balcony or in the garden, for example.

Tip: Did you know that some foods can be easily propagated on the windowsill? Ginger for example! In the article Multiply foodyou can find out more.

14. cleaning and sanitizing in an environmentally friendly way

Now you've cooked sustainably and enjoyed your meal - but the kitchen still looks like a battlefield. You can make your cooking environmentally friendly there too. For example, use Wooden dishwashing brushes with agave fibers that are completely plastic-free. The You can make your own washing-up liquid from ivy - it works perfectly.

However, I would advise you to only wash by hand if you only need to clean a few items. You should definitely wash larger quantities in the dishwasher - the appliances are now much more water-efficient than washing by hand.

Tip: If you wash up by hand, please do not do so under a running tap. Instead, fill a bowl with water and wash plates, cutlery etc. in it.

15. internalize advantages

Sustainable living has so many benefits that you can't just put them all in a small list. Nevertheless, I would like to give you at least the essential motivators for a climate and environmentally friendly diet:

Can you think of any other tips for more sustainable cooking? Then always give it to me in the comments!

Sustainable and climate-friendly cooking for a permanently better world

Cooking and eating in an environmentally and climate friendly way

Each of us can be both part of the Environmental problems of our time - or be part of their solution. The decision is up to you. I think that these tips will give you enough inspiration to cook even more sustainably in the future. Change is a good thing and opens the door to a new, more environmentally friendly way of eating. Be aware of this.

Also feel free to use our Book "Cooking for the climate" for an easy start! You can secure here directly from the publisher.*

Do you have any questions or further tips on the topic of sustainable nutrition? Then I look forward to your comment.

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: If you could use a little more motivation for a more environmentally friendly kitchen, you should check out this Documentaries about factory farming view. Because pictures say more than a thousand words. Highly recommended is the Dominion film.

₁ Klima-Kollekte - Kirchlicher Kompensationsfonds gemeinnützige GmbH: Nutrition as a key driver of climate change, available at [07.05.2020].

₂ S. Weick; Brot für die Welt; Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung e.V. (2010): Meat consumption (as of March 2010). [07.05.2020].

₃ Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln: Tons of food in the bin? That sucks! [07.10.2019].

₄ Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V.: Storing food properly, available at [07.05.2020].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

2 thoughts on “Nachhaltig Kochen – 15 Tipps für die Klimafreundliche Küche”

  1. Greetings Christoph! I have made the experience that a sustainable cooking at the beginning is usually also a strong taste change. With many less sustainable foods from the supermarket, we are really trained to go to the many artificial flavor enhancers. If you then slowly but surely the step into sustainable cooking was, can only be at the beginning of quite a difference. But with time it will definitely be easier. In any case, I thank you very much for your useful tips in terms of sustainable cooking. Keep up the good work and thank you!

    1. Christoph Schulz

      Moin Julius! Absolutely, it's a change of taste that you have to get used to. In the end, you should just be open to new things and realize that a change doesn't happen overnight, but step by step. Today, I'm glad that the change has introduced me to so many new different, delicious meals.
      Best regards

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