The kitchen is the heart of the home, and making it a green and eco-friendly environment should be a top priority. If you’re going green but cannot afford a “green kitchen” makeover, you can easily run your existing kitchen on eco-friendly principles, with a bit of creativity and a good spoonful of common sense.
1) Green appliances are a good place to start. If you’re replacing items like washing machines, refrigerators and microwave ovens, check their energy efficiency ratings. Don’t forget the kettle, a major energy guzzler. You might consider splashing out on an eco-kettle that will stop you boiling more water than you need.
2) Ditch the unnecessary appliances. Gadgets that save time and effort are all very well, but do you really need an electric tin opener or an electric carving knife? A hand whisk will often do the job instead of an electric blender. Go manual when you can to save energy.
3) Check setting on your kitchen essentials. If you turn down the thermostat on the hot water just a little you probably won’t notice the difference, but the savings will add up. Check your refrigerator manual for ideal temperature settings, and see if going a bit lower makes a difference. You can also turn it down a bit in winter.
4) If you haven’t got a garden with space for a composter, all is not lost. A Bokashi bin is the perfect solution for people in apartments or urban environments and you can recycle meat and dairy products. Use the compost for pot plants or if you’re not into gardening, it’s still a great way to reduce your household waste and limit your carbon footprint.
5) Replace any items made with toxic materials, with eco-friendly ones such as PTFE- and PFOA-free cookware, BPA-free food containers, and other non-toxic cooking items.
6) Take a look at your cleaning products. You may occasionally need some heavy duty chemicals for challenging cleaning jobs, but for everyday cleaning you’ll find plenty of ways to make your own, or buy green equivalents.
7) Going green means green laundry. Choose the eco settings on your machine; avoid the tumble drier if you can dry it in the sunshine and use non-biological washing powders.
8) Generally speaking, you’ll need good lighting for cooking in your kitchen – but it’s good to have an alternative. Side lights with lower wattage bulbs are a good idea, because you don’t need high intensity brilliant light all the time.
9) Stock your kitchen with eco-friendly foods if you’re going green. Think locally grown foods that aren’t flown in from far-flung areas of the globe. Your farmer’s market is the place to go.
10) We’ve become a throwaway society. When possible avoid products and packaging that can’t be recycled. Voting with your wallet is a way to nudge manufacturers towards going green, as well as you and your family.