Finding ways to go green in your kitchen is an eco-friendly choice that you can make each time you’re in there. Making such choices helps the environment by saving energy and resources, but many of them can also save you money. Not to mention the good feelings you’ll get when you know you’re doing something for the common good of everyone, including your own family. Fortunately, most of them are pretty easy to accomplish so you won’t have to spend much time or effort getting them done. Here are some of the top ways to go green in your kitchen. Let me know how it goes.
1. Start a Compost Pile
It’s not as hard or as gross as it sounds, and a compost heap is one of the best ways to go green in your kitchen. You’ll want a good, sturdy, covered container for your compost. To start, toss in some dirt and newspaper. You can then put any plant peels, seeds, flesh and such in the pile. Coffee grounds, tea bags, hair from your brush, eggshells and shredded paper can also go in. Stir the pile occasionally to get it going. You’ll be saving room in the landfills and creating some great dirt for growing your own garden.
2. Grow Your Own Garden
Speaking of, growing your own garden saves food for others and helps you cut back on the energy needed to feed your family. By having much of your own food right in the backyard, you save the fuel it costs to transport food and you save the gas and fuel it takes to drive to the farmer’s market to stock up on produce. Plus growing plants fills the air with good stuff and promotes bug activity that is good for crops and plants elsewhere.
3. Wash with Caution
I know how tempting it can be to leave the warm water running the entire time I wash the dishes. Yes, the dishwasher is better than handwashing for the most part, but some things can’t go in there. When you have such items that need to be washed, try this trick to save water. Wet your sponge or cloth, add soap and turn the water off. Soap up as many dishes as you can, lay them in the sink, then turn the water back on and spray them all quickly with the hose and nozzle. Lay them out to dry.
4. Turn off the Lights
It’s not always at the top of your mind to hit the switch when you leave the kitchen. After all, you might be back later for a snack or a glass of water. However, snapping off the lights when you leave a room is one of the single best things you can do to go green. You’ll save loads of energy when you aren’t in there and you can always turn the lights back on if you need to. Plus, research shows that turning off the lights in the kitchen signals your brain that the room is closed for the day so you might be less tempted to snack.
5. Buy Energy Star Appliances
With all the appliances that reside in your kitchen, you can be sure it’s a place that sucks energy. They are pricey, but if you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, oven/stove, refrigerator or microwave, consider buying one that carries the Energy Star label. They are much better for the environment and will save you money on your energy bills at the same time. It’s a win-win!
6. Buy Green Soaps
Many kinds of dishwasher detergent and dish soap contain ingredients that contaminate local water supplies and harm the animals that live in the rivers and lakes nearby. Choosing green soaps helps prevent this and makes you feel better about doing the dishes. They are a bit costlier than your average store brand, but you’ll feel so virtuous using them that it will easily balance out.
7. Limit Packaging
Packaging on food products costs a lot to produce, then you toss them in the trash, clogging landfills and releasing sometimes harmful chemicals into the surrounding areas. Buy in bulk as often as you can to cut back on packaging. Some stores will let you bring your own containers from home. Buy reusable shopping and produce bags so you don’t need the plastic ones from the store. When you buy boxed or canned goods, buy a large package and portion it out rather than buying a bunch of individual products.
There – going green isn’t as hard as you thought, is it? Are you surprised? Do you have any other tips to add?