The kitchen is one of the easiest places to go green and you may be doing a lot of the things on the following list, already. Living eco-friendly in the kitchen will not only save you money, but it is also excellent for your health. Going green in the kitchen is much more than buying organic or farm-fresh foods. It’s also changing how you cook, clean, and live.
Let’s look at some Eco-Friendly Tips for Going Green in the Kitchen, your home’s central feeding zone.
Eco-Friendly Tips for Going Green in the Kitchen
1. Compost your kitchen scraps. This is easier to do if you have a yard with a large garden, but even if you live in an apartment or duplex, you can compost a small amount. Why should you compost? If you do any gardening, it will be like free fertilizer for your plants in the healthiest way possible and you are saving these things from just going to waste at a landfill. To start a compost, simply save your kitchen scraps from fruits and vegetables in a container. This can be a big one or just a small container with a lid that fits in a tight space. You can even save coffee grounds as they are rich in nutrients for soil. Mix the compost a couple times a week and use as it turns to soil for your garden. Composting over the winter is an excellent way to have rich topsoil for your gardens in the spring.
2. Make the most of your kitchen appliances. Run only full loads of dishes in the dishwasher, keep the freezer full to help conserve energy and don’t pre-heat ovens for foods that will bake over an hour. These simple changes in the amount of energy you use can really add up to great energy savings.
3. Use everything you have. Turn leftovers into meals and even plan leftovers for meals. If you have leftover produce, freeze it if you can for another day rather than toss. Saving just a few pounds a week in food that would otherwise be tossed can make a huge difference in the amount of waste in our landfills, especially if everyone starts to do it.
4. Keep your oven and microwave clean for maximum use. Having a messy or grease filled appliance forces your oven and microwave to work harder to do it’s job. You can easily clean your microwave by placing a cup of water in it and heat for 2 minutes or until it boils. Once it reaches a boil, don’t open the microwave. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The steam will soften any cooked on food and you can easily wipe if off with a wash rag.
5. Use glass storage containers. When buying new storage containers, try to purchase glass containers as they are more eco-friendly and fewer chemicals are likely to get into your food from the plastic. You don’t need to even invest in expensive ones, either. Just save jars from store-bought items like pasta sauce and wash to re-use.
6. Use plastic store bags for trashcan liners. I never buy the expensive and anti-Earth friendly packs of small garbage bag liners. I just use the plastic bags I get from stores. They are also great for placing kitty litter waste and wet swimsuits in.
7. Stop the water bottle madness. I know, I am a “water snob”, too. I really loved my bottled water until I actually felt very sad about how many plastic bottles we were throwing away on a daily and weekly basis. Instead, install a faucet filter and use a reusable water bottle.
8. Choose cookware wisely. Invest in green cookware and high quality over low cost. In the end, you save money by not needing to replace your cookware, knives, and serving pieces as often. This means of course, less of this stuff going to the landfill.
9. Skip pre-packaged foods. Limit convenience foods and pre-cut foods when you can. The less processing that has to happen to get the food from the field or farm to your table, the better all around it is for the environment. Shop locally for food when possible. This small change saves the environment by cutting the amount of time food must be shipped and therefor on trucks.
10. Use cloth instead of paper products. Switch out paper towels and napkins with rags and cloth ones. If you picnic and use plastic wear, take it home and wash it rather than toss it out.