Low Carbon Cookery - top tips

Hello fellow-bulbers,

further to a train of thought in another thread, and as a pre-amble to actual recipes, I wonder if people might like to share their tips for preparing low carbon footprint meals.

To get us started, here are some thoughts that occur to me, in no particular order:

  1. Avoid all animal products - the meat/dairy industry is one of the biggest contributors to climate change and these days there are all manner of interesting vegan foodstuffs available - yes you can get all the protein you need from pulses, nuts, grains, veg, etc, really, I promise! (And, I learned recently, you can make proper-tasting meringues out of whisked chickpea brine and sugar - how amazing is that?!)
  2. Shop locally, and choose locally sourced ingredients, so that they won’t have been transported far (and you are supporting your local businesses). Just glance at the labelling in the shop to see where things have come from.
  3. Choose ingredients that are in season too, so they won’t have been grown in heated greenhouses or whatever. e.g. greens and root veg in the winter; resist the strawberries until later in the year. There are websites where you can look up what is in season in your area if you aren’t sure - just google it.
  4. Choose foods that are sold with minimal packaging, or failing that recyclable packaging, and no plastic at all if possible. Fruit, salad and veg can all be bought loose. Tinned things aren’t too bad, as the tins can be recycled.
  5. Cook using electricity (supplied by bulb, naturally) rather than with gas if you can. If you can’t afford to replace your gas hob or gas cooker, then there’s always the microwave for some/all meals.
  6. Consider what you might enjoy raw in your meal - for example, does that spinach have to be “wilted” or would it be just as nice served on the side with other salad leaves? How about raw carrot sticks? And raw mushrooms taste yummy too by the way. Come to think of it, there is a whole trend for raw food now, which may be worth investigating. Apparently it’s often better for us as cooking denatures some of the nutrients, vitamins etc.
  7. If you are boiling something, then use a steamer to steam something above it as well so that all that steam energy doesn’t go to waste, and put lids on saucepans to reduce energy consumption too.
  8. Consider growing some of your own food if you are practically minded.
  9. Walk to the shop with a rucksack to buy your food, unless you can drive there in an electric car that you are charging from home using bulb electricity.
  10. If you share a house, cook meals together, rather than each cooking individually.

There you go, that’s a few things that spring to mind for me. What ideas do other people have - I am always looking at ways to reduce my carbon footprint so I would love to hear what other people do…


  1. When eating out, choose a restaurant that you know sources its ingredients locally

Lots of great tips here for those who want to do as much as they possibly can for the environment. We have to salute you for your dedication Mary!

Thanks @will

I’d love to hear other people’s ideas too - I am sure there is loads more we could all be doing.

Hi everyone, yes lets keep sharing. My suggestion is to use a solar oven. Its 100% solar and you can make your own if you google it. Happy using. Tony.

I avoid high carbon cookery by setting the oven timer!

Eat salad no heat required

@maryrcrumpton can you please post the recipe for the proper-tasting meringues using whisked chickpea brine and sugar? Or is it as simple as it sounds? :slight_smile:

I’m just going to throw something out there that won’t be for everyone but if you want to cut down on carbon emissions from food, as much as aquafaba (chickpea juice) is a wonderous replacement for eggs in a lot of recipies and eating less meat makes a big difference, when you need a quick meal (especially when out and about, why not think about a meal replacement shake?

Personally I like the vegan Plenny Shakes from Jimmy Joy (formerly Joylent) but a number of my friends are more into Huel (as are a lot of the Monzo team).

Obviously there are the extraction costs for all of the ingredients that go into these shakes, and the environmental impact of shipping it, but in terms of waste, there’s still going to be far less than all other traditional foods and at least you know you’re getting everything you need.