Most people are afraid of going green with the assumption that being environmentally friendly means expensive. Once again, some people feel that they will not find an environmentally friendly substitute for all the household products they need. That's not entirely true – there are environmentally friendly alternatives to almost every household product that you can see in your home. Once again, environmentally friendly products cost the same as conventional products (sometimes even less if you have to recycle products at home).
The green kitchen starts when you eat green, but that's the beginning. To turn your kitchen completely green, you need energy-efficient food preparation tools, environmentally friendly cleaning products, and the use of equipment made from environmentally friendly materials, among other practices. Below are some green tips for changing your kitchen.
Durability Problems in the Green Kitchen
Instead of buying equipment that you will eventually throw the next day, choose high-quality equipment and kitchen elements. For starters, Teflon trenches because this will only end up in landfills, plastic trenches and wooden spoons and equipment considering their relatively shorter lifespan. Instead, focus on stainless steel and cast iron equipment. While stainless steel and cast iron equipment will be more expensive, they will last for a generation which means you will not throw away your cooking utensils with leftovers every day.
If you want to experiment cooking, instead of buying a gadget that you will use once, try the kitchen library in your neighborhood. For tables and cabinets, choose high-quality stone and high-quality wood. Instead of granite, marble, and laminate, install a quartz or Corian table. The latter will last for generations.
Energy Efficient Cookers
Should you use a gas or electric stove? Naturally, gas is a product of fossil fuels. Electricity on the other hand comes from burning coal (at least most of the electricity is produced in the US). Because of this, the choice is difficult between gas and electric stoves.
Your only choice is to choose an energy-efficient stove. If you decide to use gas, choose a stove with a low BTU output because this means more energy savings depending on its use. For electric stoves, consider stoves with induction elements because the stove transfers heat directly to the pan while the stove top stays cool. Even though induction cookers have a relatively higher price, they will save a lot of energy. Electric cookers are cleaner than gas, because they do not produce smoke. If you need a smoker for tailgating, consider energy efficiency.
Dispose of Old Equipment the Right Way
There are energy-saving models of your favorite equipment in stores today. If you want to dispose of your old equipment for a new one, check that your community has a return program and provide old equipment. Once again, before getting the latest equipment, check whether an upgrade or repair will make your equipment more energy efficient. Check for Energy Star Rating on all new equipment.
For all equipment you buy, consider small units. For example, a refrigerator that only holds enough food is ideal compared to refrigerators whose compartments will stay empty for so long – most foods, like fruits, stay longer outside the refrigerator.
Buy Local Food – Eat Green
If you have all the tools and greens and then you don't eat greens, why do you want a green kitchen? Food miles determine the environmentally friendly of the food you eat. When you buy food closer to your home, you reduce the fuel used to transport food to your kitchen. You can support community farming to increase local food production.
When buying local food, buy large quantities and cook large quantities – this will save energy (and also save you time). However, plan your food to make sure you only cook what you can eat before the food gets worse. To do that, take your packaging to stores so you can buy enough fresh food. Once again, you need to avoid large portions that will only end up in your kitchen trash.
If you can reheat food instead of throwing it in the trash, do it. That also applies to carrier bags, glass jars, packaging, and bottles – reuse to save the environment.
Many organic waste ends up in landfills. Instead of putting trash in your trash, compost it and give it to local farmers.
Choose a Green Cleaning Agent
Many chemicals go into cleaning agents that we use at home. Fortunately, there are hundreds of cleaning solutions and detergents that are environmentally friendly. Proper cleaning agents must be non-toxic, plant-based, and biodegradable. If you can't see green cleaning products at a local store, make cleaning products using baking soda and vinegar.
Instead of buying all the new elements and equipment in your kitchen, consider giving an old element upgrade rather than buying a new one. You can, for example, repair your kitchen cabinets using high quality wood and replace the surface of your kitchen counter.
Making an old kitchen work is a good idea, but that isn't always a problem – at one time, you need to replace some elements of your kitchen. If you go shopping for new kitchen elements, consider antiques and used items. You can choose fittings, panels, cabinets, and floors that have been used before and are time-tested. If you throw away your old kitchen cabinet or kitchen table, give them on Craiglist or another site that picks up old things.
If you don't want reclaimed kitchen ingredients, look for green ingredients like a green table.
For every small item you use in the kitchen, including paper towels, coffee cups, lighting, sponges, food vendors, and more, there is an environmentally friendly alternative. Before you buy these environmentally friendly products, study their impact on the environment to make sure they are safe. In the long run, using green kitchen products will save you money – you buy durable products, buy and cook in large quantities, use energy efficient stoves, and recycle products. This environmentally friendly practice not only protects the environment but is also easy in your pocket.