Building an eco-friendly kitchen at home is not all about waste recycling. It also involves the use of small appliances, energy-efficient food preparation, green cleaners and more. With simple lifestyle changes, we can go green in the kitchen to reduce carbon footprint and environmental impact. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
Make Smart Cookware and Appliance Choices
These two take up most of our kitchen space, and we use them often, if not every day. And so, if we want to start an eco-friendly kitchen renovation that can limit waste, choosing our cookware and appliances well can make a significant difference. Consider making the following improvements.
- Go for cast iron and stainless-steel pots. Cast iron skillets are versatile and virtually indestructible. Stainless steel is a lighter material but just as long-lasting and multipurpose. Moreover, both are recyclable and require minimal resources to produce. Check out these cleaning and care tips for cast iron and stainless-steel cookware to make them last even longer.
- Choose cooking utensils made of sustainable materials. Metal and silicone cooking utensils are not only durable but also recyclable. Bamboo is another smart choice. You can also purchase wood products, but make sure they are high-quality to avoid rotting later on.
- Consider small kitchen appliances with energy star ratings. A smaller fridge or electric kettle, for example, will consume less energy. An energy-efficient dishwasher requires less water than washing dishes by hand. Coffeemakers that allow the use of reusable filters or recyclable pods are also eco-friendly options. And when you can, choose manual over electric kitchen tools to save more energy. You can also learn more about appliances and energy ratings here.
- Use energy-efficient stoves and ovens. Any heat source consumes fuel or electricity and creates waste. However, you can go for green options that generate heat faster to reduce energy consumption. Induction cooktops and convection ovens or microwave ovens are excellent examples.
Think Savings when Cooking
We may have energy-efficient appliances and sustainable utensils in our eco-friendly kitchen, but we need to pair them with equally effective cooking habits. Check out these suggestions and see which one can you apply at home.
- Use a power strip for your kitchen appliances. With one switch to remember, you can shut everything off after use in one go.
- Use a microwave or toaster to reheat leftovers or small food portions instead of the stove or oven. Similarly, heating water in an electric kettle is more energy-saving than a stovetop kettle.
- Cook with the right size of pot or pan, so your food cooks faster. If you are boiling, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid to speed up the process.
- If possible, cut food into smaller pieces to shorten cooking time. Alternatively, consider using a pressure cooker, especially when cooking meats, grains and root vegetables.
- The best way to go green in the kitchen is to eat raw or fresh produce or meals with minimal cooking. It keeps the nutrients intact, too.
- Grow your food whenever possible. It may require time and money to maintain, but it will help cut your grocery expense and limit packaging waste. If you have no outdoor space for a garden, try growing herbs and veggies using smart gardens!
Conserve Water with the Right Tools
Water efficiency is also essential to creating green kitchens. To do this, you can use a water-filtering pitcher or have a filtering system mounted to your faucet. This way, you can drink tap water without any contaminant like lead, chloroform and chlorine.
Another method is to fit a low-flow aerator into the kitchen tap. This hardware can reduce your water usage without altering its pressure. Also, don’t worry about the dishwasher. It uses up less water than handwashing. However, make sure to run it on full load and skip pre-rinsing your dishes.
Choose Green or DIY Cleaners
Store-bought cleaning agents often contain toxic chemicals that can cause allergic reactions or health problems when used. Moreover, each bottle container adds up to our mounting plastic waste. If you need ready-made kitchen cleaners, choose those made of plant-based and biodegradable ingredients.
Also, you can clean up most stains and grime with household items like soap, vinegar, lemon and baking soda. All you need is the right recipe and a little elbow grease. This list of homemade degreasers works perfectly for your eco-friendly kitchen plans.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Reduce the waste you make in the kitchen by bringing reusable grocery bags with you when shopping. Use mesh or produce bags to do away with extra plastic and paper packaging. Also, store your food supplies properly and refrain from buying more than you can consume. This way, you get to help limit the waste sent to the landfill and greenhouse gases that pollute the air.
Reuse all other types of packaging that you cannot avoid. For example, turn beverage and milk containers into a plastic bottle garden. Repurpose your glass jars to grow veggies out of food scraps.
Finally, recycle as much waste as you can. Setting up a recycling centre in your kitchen should help make this a habit at home. Also, consider looking for a motion sensor bin with compartments for segregating. Then make compost out of organic and food wastes. Even if you don’t have a garden, local farmers and Mother Nature will surely appreciate your natural fertiliser!