As part of Living Sustainably, we try to encourage good practices within all of our hotels. Here are a few ideas of what you can do in the kitchen both in your hotels and in your homes.
Planning your meals can help to reduce energy and water consumption.
• Plan your use of kitchen equipment – it won’t all need to be turned on when the first person enters the kitchen in the morning. Think about when things are actually going to be used and make sure that you use the right size pan or burner for the job. Keeping appliances clean and in good repair can increase their efficiency and reduce their energy use.
• Plan what food you will need over the day before going into the chillers and freezers. This way you can get things out in batches rather than constantly going in – every second the door is open the temperature can increase by 0.5° C. Make sure that you don’t get too much out though or you could end up wasting it. Also, get food out of the freezer in good time so that it can thaw properly prior to cooking and you won’t have to defrost it in water.
Being sustainable can help enhance your guests’ and your own food experiences and as well as being good for the planet.
• Creating a low carbon menu with seasonal and local farm-to-table food can help get guests engaged in the local community and help meet brand requirements for local and seasonal menu items. You could even plant your own vegetable garden in your hotel grounds so that guests can see just how fresh it is. If you don’t have space for a whole garden then think about having pots of herbs for use in food and drinks. This is a great idea to try at home and can provide enjoyment as well as a sense of achievement.
• Steaming rather than boiling vegetables saves water and also retains more vitamins making it a healthier meal for the planet and for you.
Waste Not Want Not
A lot of waste created in kitchens can be reduced by good planning and sorting.
• A lot of kitchen waste is vegetables and fruit. Not all parts are decorative enough to be displayed on a plate but most of them can be used in one form or another. Think about different ways to use left overs, such as making a puree out of broccoli stalks, to cut your vegetable and fruit wastage. Try this at home to help reduce your food bills.
• Ensure that items which can be recycled are recycled. Think about setting up a composting facility for organic waste at the hotel or at home (great if you have your own vegetable garden) or you could separate it and have it collected for composting by an external company.
If you have any ideas of how to live sustainably then please do share them here so that we can all ‘fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality’ in a sustainable way.
Posted on Jul 5, 2012