With pollution and energy costs these days it’s easy for your kitchen to become a hassle and a hazard. Working in the kitchen can leave a bigger carbon footprint than expected. And if we’re not careful, it can collectively make big difference to our world.
Here’s our guide to maintaining an eco-friendly kitchen, and improve the world.
Check Your Ovens Wisely
Ovens take up a lot of power and energy. To reduce this, forget about preheating whenever possible, and don’t worry about starting your meals off in a cold oven. Some of the cooking takes place while the oven heats up.
Opening the oven can expend a lot of heat trapped inside, which increases cooking time and energy use. Glass windows on the oven mean you don’t have to open the oven to check it.
It’s also possible to cut off the power a few minutes before end time. The heat still inside can finish cooking up your meal.
Microwaves also save a lot of energy waste. They use 80% less power than ovens and take less time to heat up the food. Don’t always look toward the oven, when a microwave can be energy efficient and probably a bit faster too.
Take Care of the Kitchenware
Cooking utensils can make a big difference. Certain pans are known to release toxic chemicals and are easy to damage. This means replacements which lead to more pollution from the making of the replacements.
To cut down on this use durable pans made from cast iron and stainless steel. Baking trays should be glass, metal, or ceramic.
Utensils can be changed too. Switching from plastic tools to wooden ones cut down on replacements. Wooden cutting boards are wonderful too because they lessen the spread of bacteria.
Many people use toxic and harmful substances to clean their kitchens, but there are plenty of natural cleaners such as vinegar and baking soda. They can be used to clean bacteria and mold off of sinks and other kitchen appliances.
Switching from paper towel to reusable paper and dish towels save a lot of waste. Most paper towels use virgin pulp which is not safe or eco-friendly.
Using cloths made from bamboo are durable, absorbent, and can hold much more than their weight. They’re made through eco-friendly processes and with recycled materials which don’t contain chlorine or any other toxic substances.
Water Runs Fast
Water is always needed to be saved. We’re using so much water that there may not be enough for future generations if we fail to prepare and conserve.
After steaming something, use the extra water to cook another dish. Instead of washing your fruits and veggies in running water, wash them in a bowl. Using less water wherever you can save a lot more than you think.
Kitchen appliances such as fridges and dishwashers also use a lot of water. If you’re looking to buy, go for newer models that cut down on the energy and water waste.
Save With Food
The food itself can become a form of waste. The processing, packaging, and delivery of food can increase the carbon footprint and become a big pile of rubbish. Even buying food in the store causes waste.
“Environmental Defense Fund stated that if every American eats one meat-free meal per week, the carbon dioxide reduction is equal to removing more than 5 million cars from the road.”
Natural foods are not only healthy but don’t require a bunch of energy and product to deliver and consume. What’s even greener than buying from stores is growing it yourself. Gardens are natural, beautiful, and can provide exercise.
Leftovers also save the Earth. Not throwing out the extras from each meal can provide you with another dinner or can be mixed to make a new dish.
If you’re not a fan of leftovers just plan ahead and make your rations smaller.
The biggest way to be eco-friendly with food is to compost natural food and use it as fertilizer. Instead of throwing away rotten fruits or extra salads, putting it into the compost can help the Earth, and improve your garden.
The Earth has been used over and over again. With resources depleting and energy being wasted faster, we have to start paying attention to our actions and make them more eco-friendly. Even in places where it’s not expected of us.
The kitchen takes up a lot of energy, resources, and water. This can be cut down with only a few simple changes. Being frugal with your water use and heating is a start. Changing out the appliances for better, more durable, and eco-friendly ones is another great leap forward.
Growing and recycling your own food, that’s about as eco-friendly as it gets. We all have a part to play in saving our Earth. It can start right in the kitchen.