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How to turn your kitchen green

We asked our Coles ambassadors – Curtis Stone, Luke Mangan, Courtney Roulston and Michael Weldon - for their tips. You’ll transform your kitchen – and save money - with these 18 ideas…

Glass jars on a shelf


Set up a recycling station in your kitchen to separate glass, plastic and paper easily. Check with your council on what can be recycled and make sure you follow what is allowed in your recycle bin. Glass jars are perfect to wash and reuse in your kitchen to store dry food or sauerkraut, hot sauces or homemade jams and pickles, and they look good, too. Be sure to clean them thoroughly before reusing.

- Courtney Roulston, Curtis Stone, Luke Mangan, Michael Weldon

Kitchen inventory list

Shop smart

Planning your meals can save time and reduce waste. Check what fresh food and pantry staples you have prior to shopping and think about how they can be used for the weekly meals.

- Courtney Roulston

"Have a look at what you already have prior to shopping and think about how it can be used throughout the weekly meals, rather than starting from scratch."

Courtney Roulston

Four jars of pickled vegetables

Buy in bulk

Buy fruit and vegetables at their peak in season when prices are lower and quality is high. Preserve fruit and vegetables in jars. Make jams, pickles, chutney or relish. These make perfect gifts for neighbours and friends.

- Luke Mangan, Michael Weldon, Courtney Roulston, Curtis Stone

A glass of mango smoothie

Turn overripe fruit into something delicious

Just before fruits go overripe cut and freeze them. Add these frozen fruits to your morning smoothie. 

- Luke Mangan

A stack of tea towels

Reduce paper towel waste

Instead of using paper towel try using cloth or tea towels that you can wash, dry and reuse.

- Luke Mangan

A girl picking in an edible garden

Plant an edible garden

Whether you have room for a veggie patch in your back yard or just enough space for a small windowsill herb garden, planting a garden is a great green choice. The easiest herbs to grow are sage, parsley, tarragon, thyme, oregano and rosemary.

- Courtney Roulston, Luke Mangan, Michael Weldon

A bowl of mexican soup with bread

Love your leftovers and make use of food scraps

Make soups or stews with leftover veggies, perfect for winter weekends. Schedule a crisper and pantry-clearing meal into your weekly dinner plan. It’s the best way to make sure you use up any leftovers or veggies that are getting a little old. It can be a lot of fun and you’ll surprise yourself with how tasty it can be, almost like a “mystery box” challenge from your fridge.

- Michael Weldon, Luke Mangan, Courtney Roulston, Curtis Stone

Try Curtis’ Mexican Veggie Stew, see right, to use up excess veggies or clear out the fridge.

"Schedule a crisper and pantry-clearing meal into your weekly dinner plan. You’ll surprise yourself with how tasty it can be, almost like a mystery box challenge from your fridge."

Michael Weldon

A frozen bag of spinach

Your freezer is your friend

It is the best way to store food made in big batches which is often a more cost-effective way of cooking. Cook a big batch of pasta sauce or curry and freeze it in serving portions so you’ve got quick meals on hand when needed.

 - Michael Weldon, Curtis Stone, Luke Mangan

Carrot scraps

Start a compost bin

Start a compost bin or worm farm at home to make sure you get that little bit extra out of kitchen scraps that can’t be used in a meal. This compost is the perfect food for your vegetables and herbs. 

 - Michael Weldon, Curtis Stone

Vegetable scraps making a stock

Use it all

Aquafaba (canned chickpea water) can be made into a vegan mayonnaise or an egg-free pavlova. Seeds from pumpkins can be baked with oil, salt and spices for a tasty snack. The outer leaves of cauliflower can be steamed, battered and fried, the green tops of carrots can be used in salads, pesto or chimichurri sauces. Vegetable scraps and leftover roasting bones make delicious bone broths. 

 - Courtney Roulston

Crumbed chicken and salad

Save your bread offcuts and turn into breadcrumbs

Dry in the oven on a low heat until fully dry then blitz to the texture you like. This will take your schnitzel to the next level.

 - Michael Weldon, Courtney Roulston

Meat stock in glass jars on a kitchen bench

Save meat and seafood bones and trim to make your own stock

Stock is perfect to freeze and take out of the freezer to use when needed. By making your own stock you can control the flavours that are in it and make your dollar go a little further.

 - Michael Weldon

"If you’re thinking about upgrading your cookware and utensils, make sure you invest in something long-lasting. Stainless steel and cast iron are the best."

Luke Mangan

A food scrap waste bin

Use your green waste bin (not your mixed-waste garbage bin) for food scraps, if possible

Check with your local council to see if you can use your green waste bins for uncooked organic waste such as peels from carrots, onion, potatoes and oranges, avocado pits, herb stems or even egg shells. There are many benefits to properly disposing of your garden waste rather than leaving it to decompose in landfill. Compost is exposed to oxygen and living organisms to produce carbon dioxide rather than methane.

 - Curtis Stone

Plates and cutlery in a dishwasher

Clean green

Turn off water while scrubbing dishes and only run a full dishwasher or laundry load.

 - Curtis Stone

Coles new chiller bag

BYOB - bring your own bag

Start carrying your own bags when shopping to reduce unnecessary plastic and paper bag use. Use reusable veggie bags to shop and store your fresh produce in – these will help your veggies last longer. 

 - Curtis Stone

Fresh herbs in plastic containers

Reuse take-away containers

I have a rule in my house - we must find a secondary use (at the very least) for these containers before we recycle them. For instance, wash and dry take-away containers then keep them on hand to keep an open bag of biscuits fresh, store baked goodies to take to your neighbour, and/or collect herbs from the garden. You’ll have a nice little collection that comes in handy for a variety of uses.

 - Curtis Stone

"I have a rule in my house: We must find a secondary use (at the very least) for takeaway containers before we recycle them."

Curtis Stone

A collection of pots and pans

Invest in long-lasting cookware

If you’re thinking about upgrading your cookware and utensils, make sure you invest in something good-quality and long-lasting. Stainless steel and cast iron are the best and will be around for future generations. Also invest in quality knives that will stand the test of time. 

Collect your free MasterChef cookware when you earn credits at Coles.

- Luke Mangan, Courtney Roulston

Australian grown meat

Choose Australian-grown ingredients

We know Australia produces great quality food, so we work hard to source as much of our fresh food as possible from local growers around the country. Coles’ Australian First Sourcing Policy means we are committed to providing customers with quality Australian-grown fresh produce, including meat, fruit, vegetables, eggs and milk, as a priority.