Going green doesn’t just save the planet but it also helps produce less waste and saves money, too. The kitchen is a great place to start practicing sustainable habits, so check the list below for tips to help get you started.
1. Learn Key Words When It Comes to Cleaning Safely
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends checking the labels of your cleaning products for signal words such as danger, warning, and caution. These words indicate high levels of toxicity that are not harmful to humans, pets, and the planet. Avoid using these products and instead, choose eco-friendly versions for cleaning in the kitchen.
2. Make Your Fridge More Efficient
To maximize your refrigerator’s efficiency, make sure the coils on the back are clean, so the unit operates at its highest efficiency. Next, don’t pack it completely full as this causes your fridge to work overtime to keep things cool. Finally, avoid storing extremely hot foods – allow them to cool before putting them in the fridge.
3. Save Energy While Cooking
Reduce appliance use by thawing meat in the fridge rather than the microwave, cook large batches of food at a time, and try your hand at one-pot meals to save time and energy. Also, match the pot size to the burner size and don’t open the oven door while food is cooking to further reduce energy usage.
4. Wash Dishes Efficiently
If you wash dishes by hand in the sink, try to avoid running excess water. Instead, fill one sink with hot, soapy water and the other sink with cool, clear water. Wash the dishes in the soapy water and dip them in the clear water to rinse.
If you use a dishwasher, be sure to use the energy-saver mode and don’t run it until it is full. Wait to turn it on until off-peak times like bedtime.
5. Cut Down on Garbage
Pay attention to the amount of garbage your kitchen produces and try to cut down on it by purchasing things like cereal in bulk. Transfer them into reusable containers at home. You can further cut down on packaging waste by taking cloth bags to carry your groceries in stay away from purchasing produce that’s already pre-cut and shrink-wrapped as the disposable packaging is expensive and may cut down on the food’s nutritional value.
6. Repurpose and Recycle
Many foods come in glass jars, and Pinterest is full of ways you can reuse these jars for other things or to create décor for your home. Salsa, spaghetti sauce, and pickles are just a few of the foods that come in glass jars, so find ways to reuse them to further reduce waste in your kitchen.
Composting is like having a little recycling center right in your own backyard. When you choose to compost your food and yard waste, you reduce the methane gasses in landfills, and you create a fertilizer that’s extremely good for the soil. Use your compost to feed your yard and garden, which will mean you’ll need to water less, too.