This blog post also is available in German.
For the next few weeks, everything on this blog will revolve around the topic of pantries. Why? Because a well organized and properly managed pantry is worth its weight in gold, especially to live more sustainably. For this reason I`ll help you the next few weeks to create your own dream pantry. Today we start with the “Why“. So if you’re wondering why you need a pantry at all and what it has to do with sustainability then you’ve come to the right place. Further I recommend you to read this blog post, it already clarifies some things.
Reasons for a pantry
In principle, there are several reasons in favour of a pantry. You can find some of them in this list:
- healthier; with a well-stocked pantry full of wholesome ingredients, you will eat healthier as you`ll automatically cook more often yourself. If the ingredients are already within reach, you will be more motivated to swing the cooking spoon. This will reduce your consumption of storebought meals. In addition, your stored ingredients are fresh, wholesome and free of any additives, which makes your meals a healthier choice.
- cheaper; if you manage a pantry and know which ingredients you can`t live without, you can buy them in bulks or when they are on sale. This will save you money.
- more time-saving; with a well stocked pantry you no longer need to go shopping all the time. You already have a lot at home. This not only makes cooking easier, but also helps you save time. Meal prep and weekly menu planning can be done easier as well.
- richer in variety; depending on the size of your pantry, everyday cooking becomes a varied experience. Today lentils, tomorrow couscous, the day after tomorrow noodles, it will definitely no longer be boring in your kitchen.
- more hygienic; a beautifully organized pantry with correct storage of food in closable containers is more hygienic. On one hand, you prevent pest infestation by storing them in storage containers. On the other hand, your kitchen cupboards are wiped clean much faster. You don’t have to fight your way through a flood of plastic packs first.
- more neatly; the storage in lockable containers (preferably mason jars) allows you to see at a glance how much of which food you still have and what you should buy soon.
- more sustainable; the reasons can be found in the following text.
Sustainability & Pantry – What do they have to do with each other?
Reduce plastic waste, stop throwing away food, to bulk shop- for most people this is exactly what sustainability is all about. But a sustainable lifestyle is much more complex and starts with smaller things which is sometimes less obvious.
I use to say if the foundations isn`t solid enough, you can’t build a house. It’s the same with sustainability. And that’s why we’re starting all over again today with the pantry. It is the so called foundation, which makes sure your sustainable lifestyle will work out in the long run.
In addition to all the tips for a plastic-free kitchen and bathroom and for avoiding food waste, there are three basic elements that guarantee a sustainable lifestyle in the long term. And that is:
- a pantry
- weekly menu planning / menu planning
- weekly meal prep –> this doesn`t necessarily mean the cooking of a whole dish, but rather the preparation of certain ingredients in advance.
These three things ensure that less food waste is produced, that bulk shopping works out smoothly, that less plastic waste is produced and that not too much food is bought, which then ends up in the waste bin.
Why is a pantry sustainable?
This may not be immediately apparent at first glance. But the following sections will show you why a pantry helps to create the foundation for a long-lasting sustainable lifestyle.
Less packaging waste
A pantry motivates you to cook for yourself. Moments in which you have nothing at home to eat are passé. This means you no longer have to impulsively buy ready meals, eat out or take away, or have something delivered to your home. As a result, you reduce waste. If you buy your supplies in bulk, you can save on packaging material as well.
Less food waste
In general, you will become active again in the kitchen – especially in combination with weekly planning and preparing your ingredients for the week – using resources you already have and you don’t buy a lot of unnecessary food anymore, which in turn creates garbage. The neatness of a pantry immediately shows you which ingredients is depleting and when you need to replace something. You can avoid situations in which you are standing in the supermarket and don’t know whether you still have rice at home or not. Double buys and mispurchases are history!
Bulk shopping becomes doable
With a well-managed pantry, it will also work out in terms of bulk shopping. As supplies run out, you can plan your next visit to the unpacked store and buy more. This will bring you one step closer to a zero waste lifestyle and make bulk shopping a managable reality in your everyday life.
You only buy what you need
Your pantry contains all the food you need. If you have almost used something up, you replace it. The purchasing process is simplified by a pantry. You can see at a glance what you still have and what you don’t. According to that inventory you write your shopping list. Excessive shopping of food, which you never need and which piles up in the cupboards, can be avoided. At the same time you reduce your food waste. Less food ends up in the trash. You effectively buy what you need and consume. And that is exactly what sustainability is all about, conscious consumption!
Now you know the reasons why a pantry is part of a sustainable lifestyle. Next week I`ll show you what belongs in a sustainable vegan pantry. Until then, you can brainstorm about what foods are essential for you. This blog post suggests a solution to this question.
Read you soon