Kitchen is not for cooking alone; Make it an entertainment place

Priyanka Kheruka

The Indian kitchen has evolved and come a long way. With changing lifestyles and modernization, the emphasis on aesthetics, going eco-friendly and making it sustainable has taken center stage.

Today, this space does more than bind family together over food. The kitchen has taken on a new meaning and has moved beyond a place meant only for cooking. It has become an extension of our personal lives and is used as a place to entertain, host, unwind and even work, given the ongoing pandemic situation.

Here are simple, easy to follow tips to make this small yet important space in your house eco-friendly and sustainable to elevate the experience for friends, family and guests and turn it into an entertainment area as and when the need arises.

Switch from plastic to glass- Plastic is everywhere and finds prominence in our kitchens- from plates, utensils, storage bags and even chopping boards. The best way to be sustainable and environmentally conscious is to replace most plastic, if not all, with glass products. Steel, copper and ceramic are also viable and safe options. Plastic has detrimental effects on health in the long-term as it releases harmful chemicals on heating. Glass on the other hand does not leach harmful chemicals on heating nor does it turn cloudy on repeated usage. Glass products are available in the market with beautiful designs and multiple options. Borosilicate glass storage containers are apt for the kitchen as they can be used to serve, store, freeze and even bake. Avoid plastic cling wraps for storing food and switch to an eco-friendly option such as beeswax wrap. These wraps are reusable and made of organic cotton and beeswax.

De-clutter- Minimalism -this is a trend that is being adopted the world over. Remove excess of pots, pans, plastic bottles and unused/broken crockery and utensils and avoid hoarding things like plastic containers and take-away boxes. Keep it simple in the kitchen with only essential storage and crockery. De-cluttering makes the kitchen more open and gives an airy feel to it.

carry bags
Switch to reusable carry bags and kitchen towels- The ban on single use plastic bags is not yet very effective in our country as plastic is being consumed in large quantities. One way to combat it is to switch to cotton bags that can be used for grocery shopping. These are available in the market and are easy to wash and maintain. Having 1-2 reusable carry bags is a healthier option than stuffing your cabinets with plastic bags. For cleaning purposes, those using paper towels in the kitchen to clean dirt and food spillage can consider reusable kitchen towels as these can be used repeatedly. They are easy to clean and wash. In the long run, this contributes to the environment as less trees will be cut to produce paper.

Invest in smart appliances- With the two waves of COVID-19 and the effects of several lockdowns, people were spending more time in the kitchen and honing their cooking skills. With fast paced lives, having light weight and energy efficient appliances saves on time and electricity and are also effective, easy to maintain and functional. Opt for electric appliances that have low motor noise and are made of materials other than plastic (wherever possible). Having an OTG, waffle maker, Induction Cooktop, egg boiler, blenders, rice cookers, electric choppers smoothens the cooking process and help you maximize time. These appliances come in handy when entertaining people and gives you the option of serving different kinds of food.

Invest in reusable, sustainable crockery & storage options- Indians love to host and entertain. So whether it’s a Sunday brunch or a family get together or having friends for a tea party, buy eco-friendly and reusable crockery and storage for your kitchen. Choose from options such as Opal ware dinner sets that come in beautiful designs. With the right crockery and storage to match your kitchen aesthetics, guests will be impressed. You can now make everyday meals looking extraordinary with beautiful plates and dinner sets. Another good investment is storage jars and containers made with 100& borosilicate glass. High grade Borosilicate glass, unlike plastic, does not leach harmful chemicals on heating, is microwave safe, does not take years to decompose and is a safe material to use and is value for money as it can be repeatedly used. While buying plastic plates and cups, saucers and jars maybe a cheaper option, it is not the healthiest material to use in the kitchen. Switch plastic spoons with steel, wood and bamboo ones.

Turn to composting- Left over or stale food often makes it way to the garbage and kitchen dustbin. Learn to compost by collecting your dry and wet waste in a clay or ceramic pot which can be used as a soil fertilizer for your plants and garden. Kitchen items such as fruits, vegetables, eggshells, tea bags, nut shells, newspapers, houseplants etc. can be used for composting. A simple step from the kitchen can lead to protecting the environment. Excess waste goes straight to landfills which not only occupies space but also release methane, a harmful and potent greenhouse gas. With composting, lower your carbon footprint now.

house plant
Invest in house plants - Plants have a soothing effect and are beneficial when placed in the kitchen. They become a part of the décor and also convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, making your kitchen green. Add the extra appeal with a variety of different plants which can be placed on table tops, windows or hung in the kitchen balcony. Sit back and enjoy your morning cup of tea/coffee being enveloped by greenery, even if you are living in the heart of the city!

(The author is Chief Digital Marketing Officer, Borosil)

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