Hosted by Paula Kennedy, CKD
After 20 years in this business working with kitchens, clients, cooking, food, appliances, even in my own home and life, I became increasingly aware and aghast at how much food we waste and how much energy and water these spaces consume. I’ve learned that every single action and effort builds and grows. I have a responsibility in my own life and in my business to help promote reducing our personal environmental impact.
Personally my diet has been changing to a more organic, healthy, clean, local lifestyle. But I was tired of throwing away spoiled food! How was I supposed to eat healthy if the spinach was spoiled by the time I wanted to enjoy it, or the bananas, I like them on the green side. One day I heard someone say to separate your bananas from your apples!? What! No one told me this! Why didn’t I know this? Thus began my research. It saddened me how quickly we’ve forgotten practices that only a generation or two ago practiced on a daily basis. Since that time I created a CEU class for NKBA called “Spoiler Alert: Kitchens waste food.”
Our kitchens today are great at storing food but not that great at helping to preserve it. The biggest impact we can have on our planet is to reduce food waste. A typical family will throw out 470lbs of food each year. Globally 4 Billion tons of food is wasted each year. Throwing away one egg wastes 55 gallons of water. Food waste in landfills creates Methane which is the largest contributor to Greenhouse Gas Emissions!
I’ve started having Imperfect Produce delivered to my home, less expensive than at the store and saves these items from the landfill. I use an app to track my inventory at home so when I’m at the store I’m not purchasing more bananas than I need just incase. I use special bags to store my produce to reduce the ethylene from affecting other produce that is sensitive to it. I’ve stopped storing my bananas next to my apples! And, just say no to the fruit bowl on the sunny countertop please! What current appliances can help us, or future appliances and smart features?
We’ll also talk about electricity and water usage in kitchens as well; lighting, appliances and plumbing fixtures. It’s all connected.
Everything is changing with our relationship to our kitchens, to our food and our environment. Pantries may soon not even be necessary as consumables are delivered on a daily or weekly basis in the future.
Everything starts with us, one change at a time, then, I believe we have a responsibility in our industry to help educate our clients and help them reduce their impact as well, sometimes even without them knowing it. Just like we may put extra backing in the walls for future grab bars in homes for aging in place, why not recommend an insulated pantry keeping items slightly cooler than room temperature, or carefully designing it on an exterior wall for coolness, depending on your region. Let’s bring back the cellar, recommend a second freezer in the garage.
Let’s keep it focused in the Kitchen today:
Q1. What appliances and storage solutions can we utilize today to reduce food waste?
Q2. How will food storage change in the future? What “old school” practices can we re-learn today?
Q3. How can we reduce Electricity usage in the kitchen? Lighting, appliances, processes?
Q4. How can window design and window treatments help us with heat and electrical management?
Q5. How can we reduce Water usage in the Kitchen?
Q6. What “smart” features can help us in these efforts?
Q7. What other ways can we reduce our impact in our homes and our client’s homes?
Saving one banana at time!
Paula Kennedy CMKBD, CLIPP, Seattle Washington
#KBTribeChat #TimelessKitchenDesign #ReduceWaste
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