Posted on June 28 2022


With the climate crisis and biodiversity challenges never far from the headlines, the question of how to cook more sustainably is now extremely urgent. And, whilst what you cook is undoubtedly a key tenet of reducing your footprint, what you cook with is also a big factor. 


At Katto we believe that the disposability, or lack of durability, of much modern kitchenware is at the heart of the sustainability challenge. 

Poorly manufactured cookware which relies on cheap adhesives and flimsy (often single use) plastics simply don’t last. And as a result consumers find themselves having to reorder the same item multiple times across even a relatively short time period. 

Cheap plastic handled knives, for example, are one of the least durable and therefore most often replaced pieces of kitchen cutlery. As are low quality chopping boards - either thin wooden ones which bow and crack when introduced to moisture; or single use plastic ones which tire quickly. 

Our argument here is that it’s better to buy fewer, better things which last and therefore don’t need replacing. No replacement means no further draw on resources. Spending a little extra on a great knife, or chopping board, or set of utensils, might seem a big investment; but if they last a last time it will have been worth it. 

We also want to help people to look after their kitchenware better. Even well-made objects will corrode and degrade if they’re not cared for correctly. Whereas, conversely, poorly made kit will last much longer if it’s looked after properly. 

That’s why every order we send out comes with comprehensive, easy to understand care instructions. And it’s also why we offer free sharpening clinics to all our knife customers. 

We’re also big on mending things. Regardless of how much time and effort we put into making a beautiful knife or chopping board, we know that occasionally things will go wrong. We can’t control or prevent this happening - it’s just a fact of life when working with natural materials such as walnut and beech. 

What we can do, though, is do our best to mend and repair things when they break. And we always offer this service free of charge.


In addition to using durable, long lasting cookware the biggest driver of sustainability in the kitchen is what you eat and when.


This may seem an obvious point, but eating ingredients in the time and place that nature intends is going to significantly reduce the impact of your diet. Eating things which are grown locally reduces the carbon required to transport them to you. And eating things in season eliminates the need for heated greenhouses and harsh pesticides. 


Again, if you have more than a cursory interest in eating sustainably, the idea of eating less meat will not be new. Large-scale animal protein production is detrimental to both carbon emissions and biodiversity. Livestock production accounts for 14.5% of all carbon emissions which is nearly seven times more than even aviation. 


It does this in two ways. Firstly because animals (particularly cows) are a big source of methane (one of the most problematic greenhouse gasses). And then secondly because in order to produce the animals, forests must be destroyed to create grazing land. 

The good news, however, is that even small individual changes can result in large macro effects. If every American reduced their meat consumption by 25%, studies show that global emissions would be reduced by 1%. 


Given the carbon that goes into producing all our food, it’s vital not to waste any of it. Avoiding waste starts of course with shopping smarter and buying exactly what you need. Smaller, independent stores where you can choose the quantities you purchase are a good way to achieve this. But so is meal planning and prep. 

The freezer is also a key component of wasting less. Aside from delicate herbs and some proteins, almost every ingredient can be frozen and saved for another day without impacting its appearance or flavour. 

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