As climate change issues come to the forefront with each passing day, more and more people are looking for ways to make their home green and eco-friendly. Here are a few easy and simple steps to creating a green kitchen.
1. Buy energy-efficient appliances and use them correctly: Always buy energy-efficient appliances that consume fewer resources and last longer. Though they may cost more, you may actually end up saving money in terms of tax rebates, amount of energy consumed, and so on. For example, an energy-efficient dishwasher uses much less than water than washing dishes by hand. Just make sure that you run it only when you have a full load to wash. In the same way,do not keep your refrigerator next to your oven - or it will always have to work more to keep your food cold. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and maintain your appliances in good condition to make sure they run well and last longer.
2. Choose green cookware and tableware: Choose safe and green cookware and tableware that are made from natural, eco-friendly materials. If you are thinking of upgrading or remodeling your kitchen, consider investing in eco-friendly flooring and countertop options like bamboo, cork or recycled glass.
3. Build a compost bin: Set up a composting system in your home to turn kitchen waste into rich soil manure. Don’t worry if you live in the city and do not have enough space outdoors for a large compost pile - even the space under the kitchen sink or a small portion of your apartment balcony can be used to set up an adequately sized compost bin. For more information on composting indoors, have a look at what this website has to say.
4. Use energy-efficient cooking methods: Employ smart cooking methods that save energy and effort. Match your pots to the size of the stove burners. You’ll end up wasting a lot of energy if you use a smaller sized pot on a bigger burner. Using tight-fitting lids for the pots will ensure that heat does not escape, the food cooks faster, and less energy is consumed.
If you are cooking small dishes, use a small toaster oven, microwave or convection oven. If you want to use your full range oven, try to cook more than one thing at the same time.
5. Say yes to eco-friendly green kitchen products: Use eco-friendly dishwashing agents and cleaners that do not release harmful chemicals into the air. Make your cleaning products using commonly found ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda.
6. Say no to plastic and avoid excess packaging: Buy in bulk to avoid excess packaging. Recycle plastic boxes and trays used to pack food. Use reusable canvas bags when you go grocery shopping. Reduce usage of plastic wrap, aluminum foil and zip lock bags in favor of reusable storage boxes with lids. And when it comes to storage containers for your legumes or cereals, opt for glass or stainless steel over plastic.
About our contributing guest: Kurt Jacobson is a snowboarding enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 11 times in the past nine years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding the mountain, he writes about all things home related for the website HouseHunter.co.