As in any kitchen, waste is also a constant battle at Daheim.
To keep the impact of our communal kitchen to a minimum, we try to reuse as much of the packaging and organic waste:
We turn fruit peel and fruit waste into cleaning vinegar Berliner Zauberkraut which is used for the kitchen hygiene- the bottles for storing our vinegar are old Pisco bottles left behind after the many Peruvian pop-ups. A memory to a time when Mama Shabz worked in the kitchen are all our large metal tins now used for plants, utensils, rubbish bags etc., which were tins of chickpeas. In our storage area we have a large box where we collect all glass jars, especially from Feasts of Eden's olives which we share between the kitchen users. These come in handy to transport left-overs, store dried herbs and spices or hold recycled and filtered cooking oil which we are now turning into soap for Berliner Zauberkraut.
If you don’t worry about getting your hands dirty, your kitchen waste will also hold lots of reusable treasures!
We constantly try to find new ways of making our kitchen at Daheim more sustainable. The kitchen is busy with food productions most days of the week and washing, cleaning and disinfecting are of course more important than ever.
We try to eliminate as much plastic as possible, so finding a replacement for plastic sponges is a new project right now.
Normal store bought sponges are all made of plastic, foam and steel wool and get their ‘fun’ colours from chemical dyes. Producing them takes a lot of petroleum and they loose lots of micro plastic particles when using them- ending up in your food and our water ways.
Next to our own liquid and solid dish soap by Berliner Zauberkraut made of vegan soap and herbs we are testing natural slices of loofah.
Any natural replacement needs us to slightly rethink how we do things, natural soap does not contain shining agents and no foam enhancers. You might need to turn your water a bit hotter and scrub a bit harder, but you’ll do good for the environment.
Loofah sponges appear very hard at first which doesn’t seem inviting for washing. We recommend to boil your sponge with a little water before the first use or add into your dishwasher. You’ll also be able to keep it antibacterial this way, boiling it once a week.
Well, we are testing it from this week and will see how and if it works as a plastic sponge replacement.
We are also trying our luck at growing our own loofah cucumbers in the kitchen...
Waste To Soil
We just added a new waste buster to our kitchen- a Bokashi bucket for transforming our organic kitchen waste into magic plant food.
Bokashi is Japanese meaning "fermented organic matter." The method involves layering kitchen scraps (vegetables and fruits, as well as meat and dairy scraps) with a special Bokashi mix (wheat germ or sawdust combined with molasses and effective microorganisms) in an airtight bucket. We bought a complete kit but you can also learn how to make your own through workshops by Guilia at Kollektiv Anemone.
The Bokashi bucket needs to be closed air tight as unlike traditional composting, which is an aerobic process that requires oxygen, Bokashi is an anaerobic process, so a fermentation process.
We are layering our organic waste into the bucket, spraying and drizzling it with effective microorganisms each time and left to sit in the warmth the waste should hopefully begin to ferment within 10 - 14 days. The rich fermented mix can then be dug directly into the garden and the ‘bokashi tea’ used to fertilize our house plants.
Returning our food waste back to the soil it came from.
And the best part about it: It’s so small it fits into every home or balcony.