Can you make your kitchen zero-waste?

From composting to beeswax wraps and opting for energy-efficient appliances, this World Food Safety Day discover the ways to reduce waste and become more sustainable.

How sustainable is your kitchen? It’s a question every business should ask. Whether it’s managing your waste or ensuring your appliances are energy efficient, there are many ways you can make sure your commercial kitchen is environmentally friendly.

There is a growing trend among consumers to create zero-waste kitchens. And with 17% of all food available at consumer level wasted, according to the UN Environment Programme, it is certainly a noble goal.  

But is it possible at a commercial level? As businesses, we can all do our bit to reduce waste, and the benefits extend beyond the environment. They can also help your business save money and improve its reputation. 

If you’re inspired to create your own commercial zero-waste kitchen, start with some of these simple steps. 

Embrace the five Rs

Working towards a zero-waste kitchen begins with understanding and implementing the principle of the five Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot.  

When you adopt these practices, you can take practical steps to move closer to your zero-waste goal while benefiting your business. 

  • Refuse: Be selective about the products you accept in your kitchen. For instance, refuse single-use plastics or excess packaging from suppliers, and opt for reusable alternatives. 
  • Reduce: Minimize the resources you use in your kitchen. Consider installing energy-efficient appliances or reducing portion sizes to prevent food waste. 
  • Reuse: Find creative ways to repurpose items, such as using glass jars for storage or turning food scraps into new dishes. 
  • Recycle: Set up a comprehensive recycling system for paper, glass, and metal, ensuring proper waste separation and disposal. 
  • Rot: Implement a composting system for organic waste, turning food scraps into valuable fertilizer for your kitchen garden or local farms. 

By integrating these five Rs into your commercial kitchen operations, you’ll reduce waste and create a more sustainable and efficient working environment.  

Reduce food waste

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted each year globally.  

So, to tackle this issue, businesses need to make smarter decisions when purchasing food items. For instance, supermarkets have successfully reduced food waste by improving inventory management and sourcing strategies. 

Under the guidance of the experts at Electrolux Professional’s Chef Academy, the Zero-waste, all taste concept also aims to show how we can reduce food waste by using food about to reach its sell-by-date to make up to brand-new dishes every day and develop a new revenue stream. 

In commercial kitchens, start by conducting an audit to identify products or ingredients that are frequently wasted and adjust your menu accordingly. Creating seasonal menus allows you to capitalize on fresh, locally sourced ingredients with a longer shelf life than imported goods. 

At Electrolux Professional, our refrigerated cabinets are designed to keep food fresher for longer while maintaining energy efficiency. These appliances provide optimal temperature and humidity control, ensuring the best possible preservation of perishable items. 

Carefully designed to meet the strictest international standards for sustainability, the ecostore products successfully reduce energy expenditure by 80%. Frost Watch Control technology increases efficiency and safety in kitchens with frequent door openings, while Optiflow circulation reacts intelligently to changing loads for optimal temperature uniformity.  

Additionally, consider freezing surplus ingredients to extend their lifespan and minimize waste. If you adopt these strategies, you can effectively reduce food waste in your commercial kitchen, save money, and contribute to a sustainable future for your business and the planet. 

Compost and reuse

Even with diligent efforts to reduce food waste, some waste is inevitable. Composting is a practical and eco-friendly solution for disposing of this waste while contributing to a circular economy.  

Composting can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserves landfill space, and enriches the soil with nutrients. 

Start by establishing a composting system in your commercial kitchen for organic waste like fruit peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells. This rich compost can be used to fertilize kitchen gardens or shared with local farmers, showcasing your business’s commitment to sustainability. 

You could also consider finding a second use for food scraps, such as transforming stale bread into croutons, creating stocks from vegetable trimmings, or crafting unique dishes from leftovers.  

Switch to efficient appliances

Investing in energy-efficient appliances is a significant step towards creating a zero-waste kitchen. When you go for smart appliances like Electrolux Professional’s refrigerated cabinets and commercial dishwashers, you can save energy and water and reduce waste.  

Our commercial dishwashers range, for example, is designed to drastically increase energy savings by lowering water consumption and reducing detergent use compared with the old ranges. And our SkyLine Combi Oven ensures uniform cooking results with a 20% reduction in energy costs while, when in energy saving mode, our SpeeDelight High-Speed Cooking Solution reduces energy consumption by 60%, providing rapid cooking times without sacrificing quality or efficiency. 

By upgrading your professional kitchen appliances to high-efficiency models, you’re reducing your environmental impact and improving your kitchen’s overall performance and cost-effectiveness. 

Say no to single-use

Single-use items like cling film, aluminum foil, straws, and disposable cutlery contribute to significant waste in commercial kitchens. When you opt for reusable alternatives, you can reduce waste and save resources.

Replace cling film and aluminum foil with reusable silicone food covers or beeswax wraps for food storage. Ditch plastic straws and cutlery for reusable stainless steel, bamboo, or compostable options.

These small changes in your commercial kitchen can drastically reduce your environmental footprint.  

You’re helping to create a zero-waste kitchen by using sustainable alternatives and setting an example for eco-conscious practices in the food industry. 

Go plastic-free

In commercial kitchens, minimizing plastic use and finding sustainable alternatives are crucial. Even when cutting down on plastic, you’ll likely receive products in packaging, but there are still steps you can take to reuse and reduce waste.  

For example, repurpose glass jars and containers for storage, organization, or serving dishes. Also, consider returning containers, like plastic boxes, to suppliers for reuse or recycling. They may even become inspired to look for alternatives in partnership with you. 

Actively seeking ways to go plastic-free in your kitchen will help reduce waste, support sustainability, and contribute to a greener environment. 

Making strides towards zero-waste

Although achieving complete zero-waste in a commercial kitchen might not be possible, even taking small steps towards sustainability can result in significant positive change.  

As a business, you can make a real difference by implementing eco-friendly practices. At Electrolux Professional Group, we’re committed to sustainability, with over half of our factories now zero waste to landfill certified.  

Start by embracing a zero-waste mindset this World Food Safety Day, engage your employees in the process and seek innovative ways to reduce waste. It helps you create an enjoyable, cost-effective work environment that contributes to a healthier planet.

Can you make your kitchen zero-waste? 2023-06-06T12:42:21+02:00 Electrolux Professional