Your kitchen is the primary place where items are brought in, used, then thrown away. It’s important for all of us to be conscious of our consumption and the things we buy.
Being environmentally friendly in the kitchen actually starts with what you buy at the store. Here are a few things you can change in order to become more eco-friendly in your kitchen.
1. Buy Local and Seasonal
Buy local and seasonal whenever you can. This one is often missed because most of us don’t realize the energy involved with transporting foods to the supermarket. Organic grapes from Chile might taste good in the winter, but the pollution caused by flying them to wherever you are is significant. Whenever possible, buy produce from your weekly local farmers’ market in your town or purchase directly from farmers themselves.
2. Use Glass Storage Containers
Buy glass containers for leftover food storage instead plastic ones. I’ve had my same set for 7 years now and they still look new. Plastic containers have to be bought every 6 months of so. Plus, with glass containers, you can use them in the microwave and oven without worrying about plastic chemicals going into your food.
3. Limit Paper Towel Use
If you can, try not to buy paper towels at all. But most of us need them or like to have them. Just limit your use and be conscious of when you use them and when to use the kitchen towels. The more you can use the kitchen towels the better. I like to test myself and my family by limiting our use to one roll per week.
4. Bring Reusable Bags To The Grocery Store
Get in this habit sooner than later. There’s no point in using 10 plastic bags for the 10 minutes it takes to drive back home, then quickly throwing them away. Get some reusable bags – some that you like, because it’s more fun that way!
5. Use “Green” Cleaners
There are many eco-friendly cleaners you can use that actually perform better than regular ones. Consider doing some research on safe for the environment kitchen cleaners.
6. Buy Less Meat
It takes more energy and water to raise livestock then to grow vegetables. Also, cows are a major contributor to increasing amounts of methane in our atmosphere. Consider watching Cowspiracy – It should be on Netflix. There is more information on this there.
7. Your Drinking Water
Don’t use plastic water bottles and use refillable bottles. Also, consider getting a water dispenser and buying filtered water from a water store. Get one without a plug, because then your using more energy! Plus, drinking water that is room temperature water is better for you anyways. You can also get your own water filtration system for your sink.
8. Only Wash Full Dishwasher Loads
9. Cook for Leftovers – Make sure to eat them!
11. Don’t Let Water Run
12. Use Appliances Correctly
If you’re cooking just for yourself or just need to heat something up, use the microwave or toaster oven instead of the actual oven. These appliances use much less energy.
13. Upgrade Appliances
ENERGY STAR qualified appliances save energy and save money.
14. Keep Refrigerator / Freezer Closed
15. Clean Refrigerator Coils For Maximum Efficiency.
Green Kitchens: By the Numbers – From TreeHugger.com
$30 billion: Money saved by Americans using ENERGY STAR appliances, lights, and windows in 2013, saving the energy equivalent to 277 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
70 percent: The amount of household and yard waste that can be composted rather than thrown in the trash.
70 percent: The reduction in cooking time and energy use from using a pressure cooker to cook your food.