In fact, your kitchen is likely the main source of waste due to all of the groceries coming in and out, the use of incorrect cooking utensils and inefficient appliances, and the massive amounts of water being wasted.
By making a few small changes, you can turn your kitchen into an energy efficient, earth-friendly space that will have a positive effect on your health, pocketbook and overall lifestyle.
Your food’s origin can have a huge environmental impact simply because of how far it has to travel before it finds your refrigerator. If you can buy local, you should. By reducing the amount of miles your food has to travel, you are reducing the carbon footprint of your next meal. In addition, local farmers use less pesticides and harmful chemicals.
If you are unable to buy local, take action steps to reduce waste at the grocery store. Buy in bulk to cut down on packaging. Use reusable grocery bags or find ways to recycle the ones the store provides. Also, buy fresh, unpackaged foods to avoid more garbage.
Reduce What You Throw Away
One of the biggest culprits in wasting food is fruits and vegetables spoiling — 52 percent in fact. A vacuum food sealer is a great way to cut back on this number. It’ll lock out the oxygen of your food, preventing bacteria from getting in so you can enjoy it longer. You can also take the salad in a jar approach to save lettuce for up to week.
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Organic foods will also be healthier for you, but they can spoil quickly. This will force you to only buy the amount of food you know you will consume, saving money and waste.
Recycle Everything, Even Your Food
Hopefully, you’re already recycling glass and plastics, but you can do the same with food. Instead of throwing your scraps of waste in the garbage, create a compost pile. Composting turns your wasted food into an organic substance that can help your plants grow bigger and stronger. If you do not want to compost, many local farms and recycling organizations will gladly take your decomposing leftovers. The Happy Housewife has a great step by step guide no how to start composting.
Change the Way You Cook
Choose the right cookware and appliances will be more costly but will make the biggest impact on turning your kitchen into a green space. First, this means no Teflon. Use cookware that is durable and long-lasting, such as cast-iron or stainless steel. Upfront costs may be higher, but high-quality products will last longer and reduce cleaning costs.
Energy efficient appliances are important green living contributors. Gas stoves are more energy efficient than electric because you can control the temperature settings and can stop heating immediately. If you’re looking to replace old appliances, check out their EnergyStar rating to find the best green models.
Waste Not the Water
Water is a precious, necessary resource, but can easily be wasted in your kitchen. Reduce water waste by installing a low-flow aerator to your sink faucet. When washing dishes by hand, plug the drain instead of using running water. Avoid thawing frozen under running water and if you need hot water, find another use for the flowing current while it warms up.
Going green in the kitchen does not have to be complicated or overbearing. Simple steps can be taken to start living a healthier, more eco-friendly life.