In most cases, the kitchen is one of the least green parts of the house. This is because the largest proportion of energy consumed and waste created often emanates from the kitchen. As such, the kitchen is often the best place to begin adopting a greener lifestyle. Adopting greener kitchen practices can not only improve the environment, but can also have a net effect of improving general wellbeing of household members while saving on energy expenses.
Going green in the kitchen is one of the simplest things to accomplish. Most of the steps require nothing more than a simple commitment. If you desire to have a greener kitchen, while saving money in the process, here are a few tips you can use.
1. Wash Dishes Greener
One of the easiest ways to save on water and energy consumption is by washing dishes using a dishwasher rather than by hand. On average, using a dishwasher consumes 37% less water than washing by hand. This only works if you the dishwasher is full of utensils. Using a half-full dishwasher several times will actually end up consuming more water. Therefore, to save on water, make sure that you use a dishwasher instead of washing by hand. Afterwards, air-dry the dishes rather than using the dishwasher’s drying mechanism. This will save on the energy consumption.
2. Cook Efficiently
When cooking, there are a few tips which can help you to reduce your overall energy consumption. For instance, instead of using a full-size oven, you can fire up a microwave oven. Microwaves are known to use 50% less energy than conventional ovens. Therefore, unless you are cooking something really big, opt for a microwave. Also, a simple act like covering up your cooking can greatly reduce your energy consumption. According to the South Florida Energy Cooperative, cooking without lids can consume up to three times more energy. Covering up your food will ensure that it gets ready quicker, and even tastes better.
3. Clean Smarter
When cleaning up your kitchen sink, floor or fridge, there are greener alternatives to conventional cleaning fluids and disinfectants. In most cases, water and soap can be just as effective most cleaning fluids. Vinegar can also make a perfect disinfectant. For simple spillages, avoid the temptation to reach out for the disposable paper towels. Reusable sponges, dish rags and dish towels provide the perfect alternative. They not only reduce on your waste output, you actually end up saving money.
4. Reduce Packaging
One of the biggest contributors to environmental pollution is non-degradable packaging materials. A significant portion comes from the polythene or plastic bags which are typically used for grocery purchases. You can contribute towards the reduction of this waste by cutting down on your packaging. One simple way is to reuse plastic bags from your previous shopping trip. Just get the ones which aren’t damaged or dirty, and carry them along during your visit to the store. You will at least reduce the waste that way. Another way is to purchase shopping bags made out of cloth. Such bags can be washed and reused several times. Also, you can opt for shopping bags made out of bio-degradable materials or materials which are recyclable.
5. Avoid Disposable Tableware
Disposable tableware has almost become the norm for house parties and get-togethers. However, given the abundance of dishwashers, there is absolutely no need for getting disposable plastic or paper tableware. Use your own dishes and the wash them afterwards. If you really want to dispose, then purchase the hard plastic ones which you can use multiple times before disposing. This will not only reduce on your waste output, it will also reduce on your expenses.
In a nutshell, going green doesn’t have to be a laborious, complicated and expensive process. You can make your kitchen greener by adopting a few of the above tips. You will not only assuage your conscience and make mother earth safer, you will also end up saving money. You can then use the extra money saved to invest on energy efficient gadgets, thereby making your kitchen even greener.
You can find another great thing you can do to save money and help the environment in one of our previous articles here.