In recent years, the push to make home living greener and healthier is on everyone’s minds. From what your family eats in the kitchen, to the cost of running your kitchen appliances, sustainability in your kitchen can make for better savings in your pocket not to mention improved benefits for the Earth’s valuable resources. If you are trying to go green in your kitchen, here are helpful ways to help you and your family turn your everyday kitchen rituals into lifestyle changes for a lifetime.
- Install energy efficient appliances: Energy efficient appliances can mean they use less energy to run, consume less water, or emit less harmful chemicals when operating. When considering energy efficient appliances, look to your local governments energy programs. Many country’s like the United States use programs such as the “Energy Star” program, to set guidelines for consumers and manufacturers to measure energy efficiency and consumption of the appliances.
- Use cookware that has longevity: If you are still using cookware that has a non-stick coating, or only lasts for a few months, you could be throwing your money away. Consider using materials that will not breakdown over time. Wooden utensils tend to rot over time from moisture; plastic can melt in the dishwasher or on the stove. Opt for materials such as cast iron or stainless steel that will last for a lifetime. Haven’t you seen your grandmother’s cast iron skillet? Yep – still doing its job!
- Adopt energy efficient cooking practices: With the onset of more energy efficient stove and ovens, there is more room for adopting better cooking practices for you and your family. When using your oven, try and cook more than one item at a time, and skip preheating if your oven or stovetop heats up quickly. While preheating may be necessary for certain specialty dishes, you may save energy by skipping this energy sucking step. When cooking food on your stovetop, use cookware that has tight fitting lids to avoid excessive heat escaping from the pots and pans. This could speed up your cooking and in turn help you save energy.
- Consider where you buy your food: Healthier living also means considering how and where your food is coming from that you bring into your kitchen. Remember, green practices also involve the manufacturing and production of food, and how far the food must travel to reach your home. Consider shopping at local farmers markets, buying organic foods from local growers, and buying geographically grown native foods more often. When you buy foods that are from other areas of the world, the transportation, fuel, pollution and other negative biproducts make these foods less “green” and inturn more expensive for your pocket. Buy local whenever possible, the food will be fresher, healthier, and make you feel good in preparing meals in your kitchen.
Instilling green practices in your kitchen isn’t as difficult as many believe. If you are trying to save money, you don’t have to purchase the most expensive energy efficient appliances. Consider shopping at discount appliance stores, purchasing discontinued models, or visiting appliance warehouses that may have ‘scratch and dent’ appliances that have small imperfections that may mean large savings to you. Use these helpful tips to help your kitchen become a greener and healthier place to prepare and enjoy meals with your family, The better you feel about saving money, cooking healthier meals, and saving the Earth, the more benefit for everyone worldwide.
Workingholiday Canada readers do you have specific green methods you have adopted in your family kitchen? We’d love to hear from you!