If you’re not conscious, your kitchen is one place in your home where a lot can go to waste: water, food, energy, and more. However, if you are intentional about it, your kitchen has tons of potential for being eco friendly. Just follow a few easy tips, and you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint in no time.
1. Buy for life… or at least for awhile.
Whenever you can, it’s best to purchase kitchen tools and appliances that you can use long term rather than less expensive items that will wear out and end up in landfills when you replace them. When given the choice between a cheaper, less sturdy option and a more expensive, higher quality item, spend the money for the better item. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you’ll likely cook more, reducing eating habits that are taxing on the environment, such as fast food.
2. Get energy-efficient appliances.
If you’re upgrading kitchen appliances, go for the most energy efficient models. Doing so can have a much greater impact than little things you can do here and there in the kitchen to go green. An energy efficient refrigerator will run 24/7 for years. Think of how much energy you’d save over time!
3. Avoid pre-packaged foods.
One of the best ways to reduce waste in your kitchen is to avoid foods that are pre-packaged or overly packaged. Look for alternatives to your favorite pre-packaged products and eat fresh instead.
4. Buy in bulk, but don’t waste.
If you are able to consume all of the product before it goes to waste, purchase items in bulk. It uses less packaging, requires less energy for transporting by the manufacturer, and saves you trips to the grocery store in your vehicle.
5. Invest in a water filter.
Making the switch from water bottles to an in-sink or external water filter can reduce your waste by hundreds of water bottles each year. As a bonus, it can often produce water that tastes even better than bottled water!
6. Use a low-flow aerator.
Most kitchen faucets expel water at a much quicker rate than needed. By getting a low-flow aerator to slow the flow of your kitchen faucet, you can reduce the amount of water you use with almost no noticeable difference in your kitchen routine.
7. Optimize your dishwasher settings.
Studies have found that using a dishwasher utilizes less water than hand washing dishes. Make it even more efficient by changing any settings that use too much energy or perform functions that aren’t necessary. For example, you can let your dishes air dry instead of using a drying cycle, and you can wash on the low cycle. It might also be possible to skip hand washing before dishwashing for some of your items.
8. Compost your organic waste.
Those egg shells and banana peels can have lots of other purposes, so be sure not to throw them in the garbage where they will go in landfills instead. Use your compost to nourish your house plants or garden.
With just a few changes, your kitchen can transform from one of the biggest energy drains in your home to one of the most energy efficient areas of your home.
Image via Flickr user designbuildinhabit