Happy Earth Day! In honor of it being Earth Week, I’m going to continue to post on other ways to go green. Today I wanted to write about ways to make your kitchen more eco-friendly. Since the kitchen tends to be the room that most people spend most of their time in, I figured it was a great idea to start here and give you some tips to go green and save money.
1. Get rid of paper products. Using paper plates and plastic utensils on a daily basis means a lot more waste in the landfill. Reuse and wash your regular place settings and utensils. Buy some dish towels to keep by the sink instead of using and throwing away paper towels.
2. Use a travel mug or reusable water bottle to take water on the go. It saves the environment rather than purchasing individual bottles of water. A lot of places also offer discounts to bring your own mug to a coffee shop rather than getting a disposable one each time. Try to get your coworkers to toss the styrofoam too. Get everyone to keep a mug or two in the office.
3. This may sound silly, but take a picture of the inside of your fridge and hang it on the door. This way, when you’re debating what to eat, you can look at the picture rather than hold the door open. Every time the door remains open, the fridge has to work harder to get cold again which wastes electricity.
4. Find the lids to your pots. When you cover the pot as it boils, it takes less energy, plus the water is done faster!
5. Store leftovers and work lunches in reusable containers, made by Ziploc or Glad. They are dishwasher and microwave safe, and are easier on the budget and environment than plastic baggies.
6. Keep baking soda on hand. A simple mixture of baking soda and water forms a paste that can clean the oven. This won’t allow extra chemicals from cleaners into the air. Just put on the dirty area and let it sit overnight. Clean and wipe it down in the morning.
7. Don’t do double duty. If you have a well-maintained dishwasher, there’s no need to rinse and clean dishes before they go in. Choose to either wash and rinse by hand, or use the dishwasher. Hand dry to save even more energy.
8. Think small. No need to turn on your oven to reheat leftovers. Use a countertop toaster oven, which uses less energy to heat up. Slow cookers are also great eco-friendly appliances.