How to do a sustainable pantry clean-out

It is important for everyone to think about how they could make a difference to the environment by choosing to consume more sustainable products.

Here are some tips to give your kitchen a clear out, to help you achieve this worthy goal.

What does sustainable food mean?

We depend on food for nutrition, comfort and cultural identity, but often don't think enough about the environmental impact of what we eat.

Food production also produces greenhouse gas emissions, and the use of land and water resources can create pollution and deplete phosphorus levels. Not to mention the effect products such as pesticides and herbicides have on the planet.

There are a few simple steps we can all take to reduce its impact on the environment – why not start in the pantry?

Do an inventory

Work out which food items you always have on hand, whether it be fruit, vegetables, meat, condiments, and breads.

Figure out what you regularly buy and make a note of it, so you can use this information to help make your purchasing decisions in the future.

Don't throw things out just yet!

Instead of doing a huge purge and throwing things out, consider which items you are running low on and think about how you could replace them sustainably.

Use up what you have already got in the cupboard first, as food waste is a huge problem in modern society.

Around 20 per cent of all food items bought by Australians end up in the bin. This is bad for the environment as decomposing food gives off greenhouse gases, such as methane. This is made up of 25 per cent more carbon dioxide than the fumes given off by your car's exhaust pipe, according to Foodwise.

Instead, when you see you are low on carrots, stop in at your local farmers market and see if you can purchase some organic ones, grown locally.

Learn to read labels

Product labels are chocka with helpful information and may give you a clue as to the amount of chemicals found in the item.

Do some research and see if you can find the most sustainable option out there.

Think about storage

We use a lot of containers, wrapping and plastic bags to transport our food in. Consider purchasing some reusable sandwich wrap, green bags or reusable produce bags to cut down on any other unnecessary waste.