Five easy changes to make in your kitchen to live a little more sustainably

grandfather and granddaughter cooking with herbs
Growing food in your garden is a great way to enjoy healthy, fresh and delicious produce, free from carbon emissions and packaging waste Photo credit: Getty Images.

We're all trying to do our part to live a little more sustainably whether that be putting our recycling in the correct bin, trying to remember our 'keep cup' at the cafe or switching from driving to walking or biking - when the weather allows. 

It can seem overwhelming, but by making a few simple changes we can all actually make a big difference. 

With some help from the team at HelloFresh, we've put together some easy ways to reduce waste and our carbon footprint right from our own kitchens. 

Grow food at home 

Growing food in your garden is a great way to enjoy healthy, fresh and delicious produce, free from carbon emissions and packaging waste. Not only is it good for the environment, it's also a potential new hobby and a great learning opportunity. Start off small with fresh herbs and veggies, before moving onto more finicky produce. 

Reduce food waste 

We all start the week with the best of intentions to eat all the vegetables in the fridge... then work, a social life, cooking for family and doing some form of exercise gets in the way, and the next thing you know, it's time for another Uber Eats order. 

A recent study of over 1000 New Zealanders found three quarters (76 percent) of the population discarded food to the value of $25 every week. For a household budget of $150, that's around a sixth of their total food spend for the week. 

Shop smarter by making a detailed plan ahead of shopping, taking into account what you have on that week and exactly what meals you will be making. Buy what you need and don't get distracted by enticing supermarket shelves. 

Another option - if your budget allows - is to opt for a meal kit delivery service like Bargain Box, HelloFresh, My Food Bag or Woop. These deliver the exact amount of ingredients needed for each recipe, so everything in the box ends up on the plate. 

Get creative 

Using leftovers is a great way to save time, money and the planet and it doesn't mean you have to eat the same meal for the entire week. Depending on the seasoning of the original meal, leftover meat, vegetables or seafood can become fajitas, fried rice, pasta sauce, soup or a casserole the next day. 

Give Meatless Monday a try 

Going vegetarian or plant-based for one day a week is a great way to place less stress on the planet and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Setting a challenge to do this once a week is a great start. HelloFresh dietitian Hannah Gilbert suggests aiming to eat plant-based where possible, which doesn't mean you have to go fully vegan. 

When cooking a vegetarian meal, build these meals around beans, whole grains and vegetables. 

Back local producers 

Buying and using local produce has several benefits for the environment and economy - and often your wallet. A simple and cost-effective way to shop locally is heading to local farmers markets which will mean you're more likely to be purchasing fresh and local ingredients. It's also a great way to mix up your diet throughout the year and save money by shopping in season. Alternatively, before heading to the supermarket, research and identify local brands that supply the items you're after.