Simple Green: Tips for Greening Your Pantry

Simple Green: Tips for Greening Your Pantry

Amber Byfield
Dec 17, 2008

12_17_08_spices.jpgThis holiday season, we're spending more time than ever before in the kitchen because we are whipping up new recipes (last night we tried these salted caramels) in hopes that we'll give goodies as gifts to friends and family--our very own little un-gift guide.

The great thing about cooking gifts is that you can make them as sustainable as you want: organic spices, all-natural grains, and local ingredients make an appearance in all of our recipes. Since we didn't start out as organic cooks, though, we're still trying to convert everything in the pantry--from the allspice to the yams--to the "greenest" it can be. Since we're on that journey, we have a simple green tip to share...

Our tip is the old adage: Waste not, want not. Our grandparents would be so proud! We don't replace things for the sake of replacing them. Instead, we use them up and then when it's time to buy more, go the green route (and recycle or reuse the old containers). This is an easier decision than the when-to-replace-the-lightbulb argument, we think.

If you're finding yourself warring internally about using non-local cinnamon in your gingerbread cookies, stop worrying. We can all take small steps to green those pantry staples (and some will probably never be organic or local, but maybe just simply bought in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging we consume). Same thing goes for phasing out plastics and phasing in glass--you don't have to eradicate the offenders in one fell swoop; it'll save money (not to mention be much less wasteful) if you wait until you need something to make the switch.

Are you converting your kitchen pantry to a total green-zone? If so, we'd love to hear your tips.

Photo by bizior via

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