Tips for saving energy in the kitchen - Green living information & advice for a greener lifestyle

green housewife - a helpful guide to living greener
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Tips for a Greener Kitchen

Your kitchen combines many of today's environmental concerns such as energy consumption (your fridge uses more energy than any other appliance in your home), waste, toxics and genetic engineering. Here are some tips for a healthy lifestyle and a cleaner environment.

Saving Energy in the Kitchen - Refrigerator & Other Appliances

1. Keep your refrigerator full but not overstuffed. Food retains cold better than air.

2. Try to open the fridge less frequently and don't just leave it open.

3. Set your refrigerator close to 37 degrees F and freezer to 3 degrees F. Clean refrigerator gaskets regularly and vacuum the condenser coils once or twice per year.

4. Don't place the fridge in a warm area (like near a heater or in direct sunlight).

5. Use Energy-Saving appliances. Check and compare energy ratings before buying large appliances. These tell you how many kilowatt hours of energy it uses per month.

6. Fill your dishwasher as full as possible. Fewer big loads save you money and save power. And, only wash things in the sink if they can’t be washed in the dishwasher (the machine uses less water and heat than you would).

7. Use electric kettles to boil water which consume half the energy needed to boil water on the stove.

8. Always cover pots when cooking to speed up process and save energy. Water will boil more quickly if there is a lid on the pan.

9. Use pressure cookers which use very little energy and are best for food that is “low on the food chain”.

10. Don’t waste energy preheating your oven, most ovens don’t need it. For pastries and cakes, preheating 10 minutes is plenty. You can also turn your oven off 15 minutes early for major items like roasts and casseroles — the heat left in the oven will finish the job.

11. Turn down the heat after water boils. Lightly boiling water is the same temperature as a roaring boil.

12. Cook food in glass dishes which are quicker than metal pans. The bottom of your pan or pot should be the same size as the burner to use the minimum amount of energy.

13. Thaw food out before cooking. Cooking frozen foods uses more energy.

Greener & Safer Living - Food

1. Buy organic foods. Eating organically grown fruits and vegetables doesn’t just reduce the amount of pesticides getting released into the environment; it’s also healthier for you, the farmers and food handlers.

2. Buy locally grown, seasonal product from local farmers market to cut down on environmental costs associated with transporting produce to your community from great distances. Local fruits and vegetables are fresher and less likely to be waxed. Also, some imported produce may have been treated with pesticides and chemicals that have been banned in Canada and the U.S.

3. Eat less meat which reduces food-related land use and water pollution problems. If you do eat meat, buy free-range, organically raised meat and poultry products. These have been raised humanely and on untreated feeds.

4. Cut excess fat off of meat and poultry and avoid high fat dairy products. Many chemicals released into the environment are stored in fat tissue and are cumulative.

5. Buy fish that are not caught or farmed in ways that harm the environment.

6. Eat lower on the food chain — fruit and vegetable production requires far less energy than meat production.

7. Grow your own vegetables, fruits and herbs without using pesticides.

8. Avoid storing food in plastic. Use reusable glass containers for storing food in the refrigerator, but be careful, not all glass containers can be frozen.

9. Avoid storing food in plastic. Use reusable glass containers for storing food in the refrigerator, but be careful, not all glass containers can be frozen.

10. If you use plastic for storage, use containers specifically designed for this.

11. Never microwave food in a plastic container. Even plastics that are approved for food storage and are ‘microwavable’ may leech chemicals into your food when heated.

12. If you must use plastic wrap, do not let it come in direct contact with your food and make sure that it is not made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl).

Save Energy - General Kitchen Water & Waste

1. Reuse glass jars, plastic food tubs, and zip lock bags.

2. Use several cloth napkins instead of paper towels.

3. Use a reusable hemp or gold coffee filter instead of paper coffee filters.

4. Fill a bowl with cold water to wash fruit and vegetables with instead of running water from the faucet over them.

5. Turn the faucet on at a fraction of full volume for things like washing hands and rinsing dishes to save considerable amounts of water. Or better yet, keep a bowl of water in the sink while preparing food for quickly rinsing your hands.

6. Buy in bulk whenever possible to save on excess packaging as well as money. Buy vegetables loose, not in plastic bags.

7. Avoid plastic containers, they are made of different types of plastic which are costly and difficult to separate and recycle.

8. Keep a covered container of water in the fridge for drinking - you won’t have to run the tap until the water is cold every time you want a drink.

9. Compost scraps for use in your garden. Don’t throw out all of those scraps; save landfill space & make your own rich potting soil (Click here for composting tips).

10. Don’t remodel with new materials. Consider cabinets, flooring, and countertops made of recycled and renewable resources.

Green Kitchen Ideas
Save Energy with Kitchen Appliances

Energy Saving Food & Cooking Tips