Your kitchen may be your most-used and best-loved space in your home, especially if you have a passion for cooking. You might spend a lot of time preparing meals in your kitchen, even eating there at times. Being able to produce great dishes in your own home is a wonderful thing, but it would be even better if you can do so while minimizing your household’s impact on the environment.
From the use of electricity to generating trash, a lot of common kitchen practices have an effect on the environment. Therefore, you may want to consider turning your kitchen into an eco-friendly space. Doing so can help you turn your environmental impact into a positive one, and you may even save money in the process. If you don’t know how to get started, we’ve compiled a list of tips you can start applying to your kitchen today.
Reduce Your Kitchen’s Energy Consumption
When you leave appliances like rice cookers or microwaves plugged in, they consume small amounts of energy even when you’re not using them. The cost may not be significant enough to notice on your energy bill, but the consumed energy is wasted and adds to the growing demand for power. Though the use of electricity is not a bad thing, it’s important to do so responsibly. Therefore, you can start making your kitchen more eco-friendly by unplugging your kitchen appliances when you’re not using them. You also shouldn’t forget to turn off the lights in your kitchen when you’re done.
Moreover, consider replacing older appliances with more energy-efficient models, like getting an inverter refrigerator or swapping an electric stove with an induction cooktop. Energy-efficient appliances have settings or properties that allow them to use electricity more efficiently, as opposed to regular technologies. Some appliances will have a yellow energy label to help you determine how efficient they are. The higher the number displayed, the less energy they’ll consume.
Switch to Glass Storage Containers
Consider switching to glass containers because plastic containers can be harmful to your health. When plastic melts or degrades over time, it can leave chemical traces on your food. Moreover, if you throw these plastic containers away, they can be harmful to the environment as not all types of plastics can be recycled. Much of plastic wastes end up in landfills, attracting pests and polluting the surrounding environments.
On the other hand, you can keep using glass containers for many years without worrying that the material will break down and contaminate your food. Moreover, all types of glass containers are recyclable, so long as you dispose of them in designated trash bins or locations.
Avoid Overbuying Groceries
If your fridge and pantry are packed full of groceries, you may have a hard time seeing all your available food and using them up within the recommended period. In addition, overstocking your fridge may result in blocked air vents. Without enough room for cool air to circulate, your fridge can’t properly preserve your food. You can end up with expired food and generate a lot of food waste. This is bad for the environment because food waste gets left to rot in landfills. As the food matter decays, they emit greenhouse gases that contribute towards global warming.
One way to reduce your food waste is to avoid overbuying groceries. Purchase just enough food and ingredients as you can consume before it starts to go bad. Before going to the store, check your stock and list down what you’re missing and need for your meals. Stick to that list and avoid buying food or snacks that aren’t on it.
Try to Preserve Food for Longer
Doing your best to preserve your food for longer can also help you reduce food waste. When you properly cook and store your food, it won’t decompose easily in your fridge. It also ensures that your food stays delicious and safe for consumption. Make sure to use airtight-seal containers for storing home-cooked meals. Doing so prevents the growth of bacteria in your food, which helps them stay fresh for longer. Airtight containers also prevent your leftovers from getting contaminated by other food in your refrigerator.
Switch to Dishcloths
If you use a lot of paper towels, especially in cleaning your kitchen, you should know that these paper products can’t be recycled. Paper towels are usually soiled with grease, food, and cleaning products, making them a potential contaminant to other recyclable materials. Thus, most recycling centers leave them to decompose in landfills. And although paper towels are biodegradable, if you throw them away in plastic garbage bags, they won’t biodegrade properly.
Therefore, consider switching to dishcloths as they are better for the environment. Unlike paper towels, dishcloths can simply be washed and reused. You can even make dishcloths out of old towels and clothes, which saves you from having to make additional purchases and prevents these items from being thrown into the landfill.
Following the tips above to make your kitchen more eco-friendly can help you make a difference. Moreover, you become more mindful of the resources you use and how everything you do has an impact on the environment. After all, just as you make every effort to make your home into a nice place to live in, the Earth is a home that you have to care for, too.