Eco-Tips for Your Holiday Kitchen

The holidays are here, which means many of us will be spending hours (or perhaps days!) in the kitchen, prepping for and preparing festive meals for our family and friends. Even in your kitchen, you can adopt simple good housekeeping practices that will protect our local rivers, creeks, lakes and bays from pollutants by keeping fats, oils and grease out of your kitchen sinks and drains.

Remember! All indoor sinks, toilets and showers drain to LA’s sanitary sewer system, an underground system of pipes that takes waste water from our homes and businesses and treats it at a waste water treatment facility before it is discharged to the ocean. When too many fats, oils and grease build up in our sewers, the pipes can clog, forcing waste water up onto city streets and into storm drains, which, unlike LA’s sewers, flow straight to the ocean without treatment. While LA Sanitation crews work daily to keep our sanitary sewer system clear of fats, oils and grease, it’s important for each of us to do our part to help.

Keep these simple tips in mind as you prepare your holiday meals in the coming weeks:

  • Before you even get started in the kitchen, remember to take your reusable bags when you go to the market.
  • Use baskets or strainers in sinks to catch food scraps and other solids.
  • Don’t pour fats, oil and grease down sinks or toilets. Instead, recycle your household frying oil at a LA Sanitation SAFE Center. SAFE Centers will accept and recycle household frying oil.
  • Use the water left over from boiling pasta or veggies to water your plants. Just be sure to let it cool down first.
  • Reduce or eliminate usage of your garbage disposal and lower your utility bills.
  • Wash veggies and fruit in a large bowl of water and use a vegetable brush to scrub them rather than running the faucet.
  • Compost vegetable and fruit scraps. Composting not only reduces the amount of trash from your kitchen, but it also provides a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden or yard. LA Sanitation‘s Backyard Composting Program can tell you more about the many benefits of composting.

 

Photos courtesy of Jeff Kubina and Elaine Faith.

 

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