San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Lettuce celebrate: Here are five ways to maintain an eco-friendly kitchen

Ryan Hardison
To keep your health in tip-top shape, there are several ways to build a sustainable kitchen and a healthy diet.

When thinking of ways to become more sustainable, implementing more eco-friendly choices into your daily lifestyle should be at the forefront of the plan.

The kitchen is one of the most impactful places to make small changes for a better environment. This can include eating meat more responsibly, plant-based swaps and saving energy from the food you buy to the way it’s cooked or stored. Here are five practical ways to go “green” in your kitchen:

1. Strive for leftovers.

The saying, “cook once, eat twice” was created with leftovers in mind. Intentionally cooking more food so you can eat later reduces your prep time and energy consumption. It also ensures you buy less ingredients, run your oven less frequently and stretch meals further. Pasta dishes like lasagna and salads are easy to make in large quantities and store away in smaller portions to enjoy later. 

The possibilities are endless, just don’t forget that you have some in your fridge or else your food and your sustainability efforts will both spoil.  

2. Support local produce.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, buying locally has never been safer. Since local products do not have to be transported long distances, buying food and floral products produced, grown, or raised as close to home as possible helps both the economy and environment by conserving fuel and economy in addition to reducing global carbon footprint.

The best way to shop for organic products locally is through neighborhood farmers’ markets. San Diego Certified Farmers’ Markets are certified by the County Agricultural Commissioner, ensuring that the produce is being sold by the farmer, is grown in California and meets all California quality standards. As part of their efforts to promote and protect local farms, the San Diego Farm Bureau maintains a list of farmer’s markets in most major San Diego neighborhoods for each day of the week.

3. Cook seasonal foods. 

It’s easy to fall into the habit of purchasing the same grocery items over and over again, especially when on a college student budget. However, buying food doesn’t have to become redundant! Buying seasonal produce when it is most available means its economic demand is lower, so it conserves costs and expands your recipe creativity.

Eating more root vegetables in the fall and winter can reflect the autumn aesthetic while a wider array of colors can be fun to experiment with in the spring and summer. This vegetable variety will ensure your palette stays in sync with nature’s cycle.

One of the distinguishable things about San Diego State is having a Trader Joe’s located on campus, which can be exciting and equally overwhelming to navigate when trying to be sustainable. Calpulli Health Center’s wellbeing and health promotion department provides students with an exclusive list of affordable seasonal products as well as a grocery list for those who don’t know the first thing about shopping without their parents being right by their side. 

4. Make a meal plan.

This isn’t just for specific diets – planning menus and brainstorming things you want to make can be fun! This can also prevent you from making impulse purchases while grocery shopping, and taking unnecessary trips to the store as well as placing takeout and delivery orders. Between meetings, classes, practices and other obligations, planning ahead with meal preparation can make any college student’s life easier. 

If you have trouble with how to create a meal plan personalized to you, there are health specialists and educators within the wellbeing and health promotion department who are available to help in one-on-one sessions in addition to informative group presentations held throughout the academic year. 

5. Purify the air with natural ingredients.

Chemical air fresheners can expose people to a number of toxins and allergens. To make your kitchen smell nice and fresh, use some of the favorite ingredients you already have on hand! If you enjoy vanilla and cinnamon scents, boil some vanilla extract and cinnamon sticks (or just the spice itself) and let it simmer for an hour or two while watching lectures or during your study time. For a more citrus aroma, cut a lemon, lime or orange into a wedge and place it in your garbage disposal.  

In 2022, being conscious of the environment is quickly becoming the new normal, so don’t get left behind – make the effort to become a more sustainable student. You can visit the wellbeing and health promotion’s virtual front desk or call them at (619) 594-4133 Monday through Friday 8:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

About the Contributors
Trinity Bland
Trinity Bland, '21-22 Managing Editor
Trinity Bland is a senior studying film with an emphasis in television, Spanish and journalism from Washington, DC. Her interests include social justice, entertainment, leadership and sports. She can easily be found watching Grey's Anatomy, a retro sitcom or listening to R&B music. Follow her on Twitter @trinityaliciaa.
Ryan Hardison
Ryan Hardison, Arts & Culture Editor
Ryan Hardison is a senior studying journalism, sociology and history.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Lettuce celebrate: Here are five ways to maintain an eco-friendly kitchen