You’re probably doing things for the environment already, like recycling cans, plastics and using cloth bags at the grocery store. You’ve installed low flow shower heads and low flush toilets. You have a rain barrel to catch rain water and water your garden with that instead of turning on the water hose. But what are you doing in the kitchen while you cook to be eco-friendly?
If you’re thinking “quit cooking” that isn’t the right answer. You can still cook those home-cooked meals, which are cheaper than eating out, but just with a different approach. We’re going to discuss a few things here and you may find that these new approaches are more convenient than the way you’ve been doing it all along.
Energy Saving In the Kitchen
You can make your home and lifestyle eco-friendly without sacrificing as much as you may think. There are ways to reduce the carbon footprint that you’re leaving behind when you cook breakfast, lunch, dinner or prepare a snack. Begin by minimizing that footprint in the kitchen and think about how you cook. What type of energy sources do you use? How do you obtain your groceries and what kind of cookware are you using?
- Star by shopping locally for the fruits and vegetables you use. Local farmers markets, farm stands and regional food co-ops are great sources of fresh food which is healthier. It also supports your local community and economy while reducing the fuel and emissions you burn when shopping long-distance, as well as the products being shipped to the stores.
- Instead of using a burner on the stove to boil hot water, use your microwave.
- Pasta and potatoes really don’t have to boil as long as most recipes call for. Cut back on the boiling time, but a lid on the pot and let it finish cooking while the water cools down. This is especially true with electric stove tops.
- Head outside and grill when you can. There is less energy used on the grill and during the summer, it won’t heat the house up.
- Always use a lid when cooking and make sure it fits correctly. An ill-fit lid allows a lot of heat to escape.
- Glass containers are better than bags or plastic containers for leftovers.
- When it is time to replace your oven, go with a convection oven. They cook up to 30 percent faster meaning you’ll save energy right away.
- Use a slow cooker as much as possible. They use less energy than the oven or stove top method.
- Run the dishwasher at night instead of during the day.
- Instead of using the garbage disposal, start a compost pile instead.