With China dealing with smog in Beijing and erratic weather felt around the world, Canadians might want to re-evaluate their energy consumption at home. One room where you consume a lot of energy is in your kitchen.
Whenever we turn on the oven, cook food on the stove or run the dishwasher, we’re leaving behind an ecological footprint with our electricity, gas or water consumption; but thanks to technological innovations, we can all do our part and minimize our effect on the environment, while continuing to cook and prepare the food we love.
eieihome chatted with David Amiel, CEO of Strauss Water Canada, on how to make your kitchen more environmentally friendly.
“We need to be much kinder to our environment and adopt smarter methods,” says Amiel. “Most people want to make a contribution to spare our environment, but many of us don’t know how.”
Out with the old and in with the new
The price tag for new home appliances makes people cringe, but what they don’t realize is that by replacing them, you’re saving money in the long run. Many new home appliances focus on making your kitchen life easier, such as Strauss Water Canada’s WaterBar, which lets you say “goodbye” to bottled water grocery store runs, and “hello” to water – chilled, boiling and room temperature – at the touch of a button.
Appliances have also seen technological innovations within the last few years that help Canadians reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their energy bills. According to a 2012 report by the Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency, if homeowners bought a standard set of household appliances in 2010, they cut their energy consumption by 2,800 kilowatt hours per year, which is half the amount of energy used by households in 1990.
Look for labels from energy efficiency programs
Deciding to replace your home appliances is only part of the battle, but how do you choose an environmentally friendly option?
Look for appliances with Energy Star ratings. Products that are awarded an Energy Star rating undergo third party testing from labs recognized by the US’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Each year, products undergo off-the-shelf testing to ensure that changes made to them don’t affect their rating.
Shoppers should also look for Canada’s EnerGuide rating, which lets you compare the average energy consumption of an appliance to another. The label has a scale, which tells you whether the appliance is efficient or not. The EnerGuide rating is mandatory on all dishwashers, freezers, electric ranges, cooktops, ovens, refrigerators, refrigerators-freezers, wine chillers, washing machines, dryers and air conditioners.
Take up some green habits
There are other easy steps you can take to improve your energy use at home. Only cooking up a few chicken strips? Use a toaster oven instead since it’ll use less energy and cook your food faster. If you do need to use a larger oven, use all the racks by grilling vegetables, baking mac and cheese and a pizza for tomorrow’s lunch. Leftovers take less energy to reheat compared to cooking with the oven twice. Also, resist the urge to open the oven door to check your food and use the light instead. Whenever the oven door is opened, the oven’s temperature drops by 25 degrees F, which means it uses more energy to bring the temperature back up.
When you are getting ready for your kitchen planning & renovation, step back and evaluate your kitchen for ways you can save energy. If everyone does it, we’re all working towards making our planet a cleaner place.
Strauss WaterBars provide an easy way to stay hydrated, which is important to your health. Your days of boiling hot water and storing cold water are in the past since you can now access filtered and purified drinking water whenever you want, thanks to the WaterBar’s unique technology. As Amiel points out, Strauss Water is “making the water cooler ‘cool’ again,” by giving people water on their terms – “customized temperatures, dispensing quantities, a child safety lock and an energy-saving mode that lets the WaterBar sleep while you sleep, and wake up in time to keep you hydrated all day.” Avoid contributing 500 plastic bottles annually to the dump and do your part with a Strauss WaterBar.