Going Green: Little things you can do in your kitchen to reduce your energy consumption
Going green in the kitchen may start with your food – but it shouldn’t end there! You should start practicing energy-efficient cleaning habits, use sustainable equipment, and avoid toxic chemicals too. The good news is going green can help not only the environment, but your wallet as well.
The following are a number of great tips to be more green in the kitchen:
Buy Quality Cookware That Lasts
Teflon may be handy but it just doesn’t last. Stick to cast iron, stainless steel, ceramic or stone cookware. These materials last for generations – and don’t pose potential health hazards like teflon. Also invest in quality utensils – heavy and well made. Go with metal or bamboo over wood and plastic. And avoid trendy gadgets that may be used a handful of times.
Love your Appliances
Before throwing your old faithful appliances to the curb, try for repair. Older gear is usually well-built, and repairs are often easy and inexpensive. If you do need new appliances, be sure to choose ones with a good energy-star rating, which will save you oodles over time. And choose the right size and features for your needs. Refrigerators don’t need to be too large for example, and your oven doesn’t need to be connected to the internet.
Avoid Frozen and Pre-Packaged Foods
Not only is it healthier to eat fresh, but it’s much more energy-efficient as well. It takes energy to freeze, thaw, dehydrate ad re-hydrate foods. By cooking fresh, you also know what is in your food – and can actually pronounce the ingredients (..think preservatives, etc.).
Cook Properly and Efficiently
Modern ovens heat up so quickly, pre-heating seems prehistoric this day and age. You can also let the timer run down 5 or 10 minutes early, leave your dish in the oven or on the stove and let the residual heat finish the job. For smaller dishes, a toaster oven or microwave can save you 80% of the energy of using the big oven. And use proper sized pots, with tight-fitting lids to save even more!
Each mile your food travels costs energy, gasoline, and money. Ideally, the food should come from your own garden, greenhouse or neighborhood! The fewer kilometers from farm to table, the better. Eating what is in season will help you ensure the food comes from close to home as well.
Buy (and Cook) in Bulk
Purchasing from bulk bins means less packaging and trips to the store. This translates to savings. And cooking in bulk is a much more efficient way to use your appliances. It gives you leftovers, and even an excuse to be social and invite friends and family over to share in the meal! Planning ahead and making larger meals that last you and your family a few days is a great way to save – both time and money!!
Keep Waste to a Minimum
The kitchen generates more waste than any other room in your home. (That’s why the BIG garbage can lives in it!) Which is why it’s important to focus on cutting back on waste here more than anywhere else. There are a number of ways to achieve this, especially here in Nova Scotia with our World-class recycling and organics programs. A few key ways are to use reusable bags, buy fresh, don’t buy too much, reuse what you can, and compost and recycle everything you can.