Want to green your household? Start with your kitchen. When it comes to wasting resources, it’s hands down your home’s biggest culprit. From energy sucking appliances to cookware that isn’t earth friendly, there are a myriad of ways this well-loved room is contributing negatively to the size of your eco-footprint.
Stop contributing to your local landfill and save a tree or two by switching out your beloved paper products for cloth options. Yes, cloth napkins and towels have to be laundered, which can be a bummer for those who love convenience. However, they make a dinner setting look much classier and microfiber version are fantastic at cleaning up grime.
2. Know Your Cookware
According to the Vegetarian Times, switching out your cookware can speed up your cooking time and reduce the amount of energy you’re using. Cast-iron, stainless steel and copper are your best stove-top options. For baking and broiling, use glass, silicone or ceramic pans — they’ll let you reduce your oven’s temp by 25 to 35 degrees.
3. Brighten with Fluorescents and LEDs
Compact fluorescent bulbs and LEDs both pack a mighty eco-friendly punch. Yes these options are more expensive than incandescents but they last longer. Not convinced? A regular bulb has a lifespan of 5,000 hours versus an LED which lasts for 100,000 hours.
Replace your regular bulbs with these babies and you’ll also use one-quarter of the energy, while saving between $10 to $65 and 100 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
4. Go for Glass
Plastic food containers may be cheaper, but they’re not as healthy or as good for the environment as their glass counterparts. Microwaving food in a plastic container is a big no-no — toxins can migrate from the plastic into your meal while it’s heating. They also aren’t as easily recyclable as glass and their shelf life is much shorter, meaning you don’t get as much bang for your buck.
5. Look for the Energy Star
That decades-old fridge and ancient microwave are major energy hogs. According to Smithsonian.com, replacing them with appliances that boast the Energy Star can save you up to 50 percent on your electricity and water use, and cut your carbon footprint by 1,000 pounds.
6. Check Your Cabinets
Brand new pressed wood cabinets contain chemicals that off-gas (release pollutants into the air), for up to two years. This lowers your home’s air quality. Choose used cabinets that have finished the off-gassing process or look for ones that are made from low-VOC ingredients or sustainably harvested wood.
7. Wash with Care
Cleaning dishes can turn into a major water waster. If you have to hand wash, fill the sink rather than running the water continuously. Only use the dishwasher when there’s a full load and skip pre-rinsing — most modern dishwashers don’t need the help.
Not only will employing these simple changes help the environment, but many of them aid in reducing your monthly bills as well. Who doesn’t like the sound of that?
Do you want a green kitchen? Take a look at eieihome’s directory of kitchen renovators.