As a plant-based brand, we’re a big lover of all things green (Todo Verde!). As part of this commitment, we invest lots of energy into being environmentally friendly with how we live and eat, in hopes of nourishing our planet alongside our plates. 

Beyond eating plant-forward meals to help reduce your carbon footprint, here are our six best and brightest ideas on how to create a more sustainable kitchen at home


1: Plan meals mindfully

Before you step into the kitchen, take time to plan your meals for the days to come. Take note of what you already have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer, to help use up food that may otherwise go to waste (which also helps save money at the store). Consider keeping a note on your phone of your in-stock food, annotated with their rough expiration dates. 

By carefully tracking and using what you already have on-hand, you can reduce your food waste and trips to the grocery store. Plus, if you’re ever not in the mood for a grocery run, when you already know what you have, you can plug your on-hand ingredients into an online recipe generator for ideas, or refer back to your favorite cookbooks for meal inspo. 


2: Embrace whole-ingredient recipes

You may not realize it, but by cooking with whole foods such as grains, beans, and veggies (especially cruciferous vegetables), you're not only getting maximum nutrition, but also minimizing your food waste. Instead of relying on pre-packaged and processed foods for vitamins, minerals, and fiber, explore recipes that use whole ingredients creatively to achieve your nutrition goals. 

All in all: the nutritional value found in lentils, for example, is far greater than that in expensive processed snack foods, which are a greater burden on the environment to create than naturally-grown whole foods. 


3: Love your leftovers

Leftovers are your secret weapon in the battle against food waste. Don’t be afraid to repurpose them into new meals! For example, if you’re already prepping cauliflower to make plant-based wings, throw your cauliflower into Cauliflower Tinga Tostadas for night two. 

If you have other odds and ends of leftover ingredients laying around, soups and stews are another great solution for a new take on last night’s dinner. 


4: Master batch cooking

Batch cooking can be a challenge to grow accustomed to, but it’s a game-changer – especially for people with hectic schedules, like families with kids. When you spend half a Sunday cooking large quantities of grains, beans, and vegetables at once, you’ve got plenty of blank canvases around which you can center easy, throw-together meals throughout the week.

Store your batch-cooked foods in the fridge or freezer depending on your plan for them, and be sure to look up the food-safe recommendations on how to properly cook then cool each food group. Batch-cooking is widely regarded as an excellent solution to not only reducing food waste, but also to making weeknight dinners a little easier.


5: Consider composting 

Everyone creates food waste to some degree. Instead of tossing scraps in the trash, start composting. Composting turns waste into nutrient-rich soil, which you can use in your own garden, or donate. If you don't have a yard, look for community composting programs, or invest in a small indoor composting bin (which you can keep in the freezer to help reduce any odors). If you live in Los Angeles, check out LA Compost for information in your community.

Some municipalities even support composting with a unique bin your city or county will pick up on a regular basis. 


6: Donate surplus food

Food access is a major passion of our Founder, Jocelyn, who sits on the culinary advisory board for Food Forward, and the leadership board for the Los Angeles Food Policy Council.

Jocelyn recommends donating surplus non-perishable and unspoiled perishable foods to local food banks or shelters. You could also join the hyper-localized Buy Nothing Facebook groups in your neighborhood, or local community fridges/pantries, which became popular during the pandemic. Canned proteins in particular are usually a highly sought-after donation item, including canned tuna, beans, lentils, peanut butter, and almond butter.


7: Educate yourself and others

Stay informed about food waste issues in your local area and nationally, and share your knowledge with others (especially your kids!). One excellent community-based way to do this is by coordinating a meal train with your neighbors to trade off on nights you’ll cook and share meals. This way, you’ll reduce food waste by feeding more mouths (eliminating leftovers), and you’ll have a chance to discuss your passion for reducing food waste in your home and community.

By incorporating these practices into your routine, you’ll not only help the fight against food waste, but also make a positive impact on your community. Conscious eating can still be delicious, nutritious, and environmentally responsible. Todo Verde’s arsenal of plant-based recipes hopes to help you nourish yourself and our planet, one mindful meal at a time.

April 12, 2024