The eco-friendly kitchen begins with eating green, but it doesn’t end there. Energy-efficient food preparation and cleaning habits, using equipment made from sustainable materials, and dodging toxic chemicals are also important if you want to have a truly healthy kitchen. Fortunately, making the right choices for your well-being is also good for the pocket and the planet.
Need some simple suggestions for preparing earth-friendly meals – from fridge to food to clean up? These earth-friendly tips will help turn you into a greener gourmet in no time.
1.) Invest in solid cookware
Cookware and utensils that stand the test of time are better for the environment in the long run, and help you to avoid throwing away any scratched or damaged cookware that will most likely sit in a landfill for eternity. Stainless steel or cast iron are the most popular choices for solid cookware, and although the prices require a little bit of an investment, the quality of the pieces will last for generations.
The same goes for utensils. Sturdy utensils will long outlast inexpensive ones and are better for the earth because of their longevity. Plastic utensils usually melt over time due to exposure to hot surfaces, and inexpensive wooden spoons can rot over time. Invest in quality utensils and cookware for both your benefit and the benefit of the planet.
2.) Natural gas and propane stoves
From a pure cooking perspective, many cooks prefer gas because it’s easier to control the temperatures when whipping up a masterpiece. Gas or propane stoves also offer instant heat and don’t waste much heat when the cooking is finished the knobs are returned to the off position. Unlike propane, natural gas cannot be stored in a tank so the quantity is limited to the gas line within your own neighborhood. Because of this, a gas stove can only be placed where the gas line enters your home. Propane stoves, on the other hand, can be placed wherever you desire due to its flexibility.
If you’re in the market for a gas or propane stove, looking for a lower BTU output is more friendly to the environment. The lower the BTU output, the more energy-efficient your stove will be.
We have induction ranges! Big Chill 30″ Retro Electric Induction Range
4.) Energy-efficient appliances
Energy-efficient appliances and upgrades are doing a lot to better our planet, with new models and improvements constantly appearing on the market. Energy-efficient appliances can make your kitchen a greener without even trying. An energy-efficient dishwasher, for instance, can use a lot less water than you would use by washing the dishes by hand.
When looking for an energy-efficient appliance, look for an Energy Star rating, which is available for almost all kitchen appliances including refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers.
5.) Energy-efficient ways to cook
These days, preheating is almost a thing of the past, and many newer ovens can come to temperature so rapidly they make preheating almost obsolete for most dishes. If you’re baking or roasting a dish that can be flexible in its preparation, you can put it in immediately after turning the oven on and then turning the oven off 5-10 minutes early, letting the dishes cook in the residual heat. Making the best use of the oven as possible, like cooking more than one thing at once, is also earth friendly.
For small dishes, reheating in a microwave will also save energy. Energy Star even estimates that you can reduce cooking energy by as much as 80% when using a microwave instead of an oven. That’s a lot of saved energy!
Big Chill Pro Microwave in Slate
6.) Clean and green
The list of what goes into regular chemically-based dishwashing liquids, detergents, and other household cleaning products is enough to make anybody think twice about using them in your home. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural cleaning companies that create detergents that are non-toxic, biodegradable, and plant-based.
If you want to go completely clean and green, you can always create your own cleaning products using vinegar and baking soda, which combine to make a great all-purpose, non-toxic cleaner.
7.) Reuse, reduce, recycle
Of course, making your old kitchen work for you is the greenest option of them all, but there comes a time when even the greenest folks need to upgrade or replace. If you are in the market for a new kitchen, turn first to salvage and antiques. They don’t make ’em like they used to, so look for kitchen fittings, floors, paneling, and cabinets that are unique and have already stood the test of time. If you’re trading things out, be sure to donate them or sell them online before kicking them to the curb.
Reclaimed materials aren’t for everyone, but there are plenty off green options available for new kitchen materials. Today, there are numerous options for eco-friendly design choices for your kitchen. Check out countertops and cabinets that use creatively different ways to utilize natural or recycled materials to create looks that are eye-catching and stylish.
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