Homemade Pickles

Olivia Miller | Thursday, June 15, 2023

Do you want to reduce your carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the environment? Look no further, because making your own pickles at home is not only easy and fun, but also a great way to reduce waste and promote sustainability.

In this article:

  • The negative impact of store-bought pickles on the environment
  • The benefits of making your own pickles
  • A step-by-step guide on how to make your own homemade pickles

So grab your mason jars and let's get pickling!

Why Store-Bought Pickles are Bad for the Environment

  1. Plastic Packaging: Most store-bought pickles come in plastic jars or containers, which contribute to the growing problem of plastic pollution. According to National Geographic, only 9% of plastic is recycled, and the rest ends up in landfills or the environment, taking hundreds of years to decompose.
  2. Transportation Emissions: Store-bought pickles are often transported long distances, resulting in carbon emissions from trucks, ships, and planes. These emissions contribute to climate change and air pollution, which have detrimental effects on the environment and human health.
  3. Chemical Preservatives: Many store-bought pickles contain preservatives such as sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate, which are harmful to the environment. These chemicals can leach into the soil and water, causing harm to plants and animals.
  4. Single-Use Plastic Utensils: When consuming store-bought pickles, we often use single-use plastic utensils such as forks or spoons, which end up in landfills or the ocean. These utensils take hundreds of years to decompose and can harm marine life.

Why Making Your Own Pickles is Better for the Environment

  1. Reduces Plastic Waste: By making your own pickles, you can avoid buying pickles in plastic packaging, reducing your plastic waste and carbon footprint. Instead, you can use reusable glass jars or containers to store your homemade pickles.
  2. Locally Sourced Ingredients: When making your own pickles, you have the option to source your ingredients locally, reducing the carbon emissions from transportation. You can also support local farmers and businesses, promoting a more sustainable and circular economy.
  3. No Chemical Preservatives: By making your own pickles, you have control over the ingredients and can avoid using harmful preservatives. This not only benefits the environment but also your health.
  4. Reusable Utensils: When consuming homemade pickles, you can use reusable utensils, reducing your single-use plastic waste. You can also get creative and use eco-friendly alternatives such as bamboo or stainless steel utensils.

What You Will Need

  • Fresh cucumbers
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Spices (optional)
  • Glass jars or containers with lids
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowl
  • Saucepan
  • Tongs or fork
  • Kitchen towel or paper towels


Step 1: Prepare the Cucumbers

Start by washing the cucumbers thoroughly and removing any dirt or debris. Then, using a knife and cutting board, slice the cucumbers into desired shapes and sizes. You can also leave them whole if you prefer.

Step 2: Create the Brine

In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of water, 1 cup of vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of salt. You can also add spices such as dill, garlic, or mustard seeds for added flavor. Mix well until the salt is dissolved.

Step 3: Pack the Jars

Place the sliced cucumbers into the glass jars or containers, leaving about 1 inch of space at the top. Then, pour the brine over the cucumbers, making sure they are fully submerged. You can use a fork or tongs to push the cucumbers down if needed.

Step 4: Seal and Store

Once the jars are filled, seal them tightly with the lids. Place the jars in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or refrigerator, and let them sit for at least 24 hours. This will allow the flavors to develop and the pickles to ferment.

Step 5: Enjoy!

After 24 hours, your homemade pickles are ready to be enjoyed! You can store them in the refrigerator for up to a month. Remember to use reusable utensils when consuming your pickles to reduce single-use plastic waste.


Tips for Making the Perfect Pickles

  • Use fresh, firm cucumbers for the best results.
  • Experiment with different spices and herbs to create unique flavors.
  • Make sure the cucumbers are fully submerged in the brine to prevent spoilage.
  • You can reuse the brine for multiple batches of pickles, just make sure to add more vinegar and salt to maintain the proper ratio.
  • Get creative and use different types of vegetables, such as carrots or radishes, to make pickled vegetables.

In Conclusion

Making your own pickles at home is not only a fun and delicious activity, but also a great way to reduce your environmental impact. By avoiding store-bought pickles and their harmful packaging and preservatives, you can make a positive impact on the planet and promote a more sustainable lifestyle. So next time you're craving pickles, skip the store and make your own at home!

© 2020 EthicalShift, Inc