Being environmentally conscious in your home can do more than help save the planet. It can help you save money as well.
There are countless ways to put less stress on the Earth and your pocketbook. From major efforts such as using alternative energy sources to easy actions like buying reusable items, everyone can do something to help.
Here are ways to be more environmentally conscious in the kitchen.
The largest expense in the kitchen over time is food. Choosing the right food in the right amounts at the right time can save you money. You’ll also reduce the environmental costs of production, shipping and storage.
Locally made fruits, vegetables, jams, nut spreads and baked goods are the most environmentally conscious choice. It takes less fuel to get these items from the producer to you.
Whenever possible, buy non-perishable food in large quantities. This reduces the number of trips you need to make to the store. It can also lower the cost per serving and the amount of packaging.
The more often you buy fresh instead of packaged food, the better. While some packages are recyclable, depending on local waste management laws, they might end up in a landfill.
If you live near a fresh food market, walk or cycle for perishable items 1-2 times a week. This will reduce the risk of food rotting before you use it and give you exercise!
Planning meals helps with environmentally conscious shopping. It’s easier to buy the right amount of food when you know what ingredients you need for upcoming meals. The right amounts lead to little or no waste.
When you do have leftovers, use containers with a good seal to store in the refrigerator. Keep them visible and not hidden behind other items. Try using labels like “Eat by Monday!” or “Susie’s lunch” to ensure they aren’t forgotten.
Environmentally Conscious Cleaning
Try purchasing green cleaning products or creating cleaning solutions yourself
A simple recipe of two parts water to one part baking soda with a dash of lemon juice can make a cleaning paste. It’s safe for most counter tops, sinks, refrigerator shelves and kitchen floors.
Not using harsh chemicals in the kitchen has safety benefits, too. There’s no risk of children or pets swallowing poisonous products. Airborne chemicals won’t irritate eyes or threaten to pollute home aquariums and terrariums.
Kitchen lights are often kept on for long periods throughout the day. Lower your electricity bill by replacing all incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs with LED ones.
The variety of LED bulbs available has expanded in recent years. Not only can you get bulbs that fit almost every kind of socket, but the color spectrum has broadened. You can now get warm-looking lights, which are often considered more appealing for indoor lighting.
The older a major kitchen appliance, the less energy efficient it likely is. This is especially true of refrigerators, electric ovens and dishwashers. Understanding appliance energy consumption can help you make a smart decision when it comes to replacing appliances.
You can also have a more green kitchen by using energy efficient small appliances for one- or two-person meal prep. Examples include an induction-heated electric kettle or a halogen oven Argos sells online.
The next time you’re in the kitchen, find one new thing you can do to protect the environment. Chances are it will also save you money. And who doesn’t like that?