WASTE SAVING TIPS FROM THE PROFESSIONALS
It's more important than ever to think about our impact on the planet. From reusable water bottles to refillable deodorant, most of us are making an effort to be more environmentally conscious. How can we extend this philosophy to your home bar?
• Reducing single-use plastics will make a drastic difference to your waste. If straws are your thing, eliminating plastic and investing in some metal ones not only cut down your plastic use, they also keep their shape better.
• Bottles, cans, garnishes and mixers; packaging quickly adds up when you're concocting a drink. It sounds pretty basic but remember to recycle. Separate your glass, cardboard, paper, plastics, food and general waste into the correct bins to keep things green.
• Instead of buying plastic bottles of your chosen mixer, pick up some packs of cans or glass bottles. They're easier and more effective to recycle.
• Better yet, make your own mixers. You can impress guests by making your own carbonated drinks using a gadget like a Soda Stream whilst helping to save on average up to 2,000 single-use bottles. Juicers and blenders are useful too.
• Reducing food waste is one of the most straightforward steps in your bars eco-transformation. Around 6.7 million tonnes of food are wasted per year in the UK, with each household wasting £250-£400 on uneaten produce. Maximising ingredients will reduce food waste and save you money.
• Adding some fruit to a cocktail as a garnish, then after they've swirled around your drink, you can add them to the next day's smoothie or spoon them on top of your morning porridge for a cheeky boozy treat.
• Use up parts of the fruit that you would normally throw away. Zest the skin of lemons and limes for flavouring food, making infusions or scented decorations.
• Compost is your best friend when you've finished with your edibles. Even better than the brown food recycling bin, composting will provide nutrient-dense product for soil which will help your garden flourish.
• Owner of Speak In Code Bar Nathan Larkin says: "We will always look to see what the absolute maximum is we could get out of a single item. Anything that you believe you can maximise the value of is always adding an extra level of creativity to your home bar skills". He suggests reusing your coffee grounds to make coffee liqueurs, or a cold brew. Also, drying out your old coffee grounds and putting them in an old tin and burning them (just as you would light a candle) is supposed to smell divine.
• Another top-tip from Larkin is to replace egg-whites with Aquafaba — the water in a tin of chickpeas. He says: "Chickpeas are delicious, and the juice is perfect for emulsifying cocktails like Whiskey Sours." Bonus: It’s vegan too.
• He also stresses the importance of being mindful of what booze you throw away, saying: "Don't throw away flat sparkling wines. Turn them into sugar syrups by adding equal parts white sugar and heating. Add a touch to your Gin and Tonic, or as a replacement to a sweetener/sweet liqueur in your drink".
• Ice is a bar staple, but it is easy to create a lot of waste as you tend to burn through it very quickly. As the writer and brand ambassador Peter Holland says: "Why expend energy to make ice, then dump the ice after a shake? Very wasteful." Instead, he suggests batch making cocktails in bulk using water from the tap to dilute them before chilling in the fridge or freezer. “It'll save you a lot of ice and result in a quicker making process for your guests.”
So, as you can see, it's not only the environment that benefits from our lives being greener, but your bank accounts will also thank you. So next time you're about to toss that Aquafaba, why not shake it into some cocktails or whip up a batch of vegan meringues? If you’d like to invest in some environmentally friendly home bar equipment and ingredients, take a look at our range of environmentally friendly products here.