The kitchen can easily be a person’s favorite place to be; it’s where the magic happens. Delicious foods are created and creativity can go wild. However, with this power come many unwanted consequences that can affect both the environment and your family’s health. Therefore, converting your kitchen into one that is more earth-friendly can help save money, protect the environment, and create foods that are much healthier for the entire family. Taking minor steps early can make this a very easy and doable feat that you can certainly be proud of.
Use Non-Toxic Cookware
Many consumers are afraid of added chemicals in their food and so opt for organic produce. However, this is useless if the cookware you use has chemicals that can potentially leach into the foods you are cooking. That is why it is a good idea to do some research and look for non-toxic, safe cookware. Some cooking ware that is not so safe include those made of aluminum or non-stick materials such as Teflon. To avoid toxic chemical in your cookware, buy those that are made from materials such as stainless steel, cast iron, and ceramic as these are less likely to flake into your food or leach chemicals due to high heat or acidity.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Many old appliances such as microwaves, blenders, and fridges can be both inefficient and waste a lot of electricity in the process. If you notice your appliances are outdated, it may be time to have them replaced with newer, more energy-saving models. Newer models are also being made to be more compact, saving valuable space in the kitchen as well.
Do Away With Toxic Cleaning Agents
Let’s be honest: accidents can and will happen. If you spill something on your countertop or drop food on the floor, try to avoid the regular cleaning agents and instead use what you may already have in your kitchen. Lemon juice and baking soda are great, nontoxic agents that can be used to clean up kitchen stains or countertops (and are also highly inexpensive). When buying cleaning products, always stay away from products that have labels such as: DANGER, TOXIC, or HARMFUL; the FDA requires companies have these labels if ingredients in their products have been tested to cause chronic illnesses.
Keep Waste to a Minimum
If spills do happen, try to do away with paper towels and instead use dish towels. These are reusable, meaning less trips to the store to buy replacement paper towels. Also, avoid styrofoam plates or cups and instead use washable, reusable plates. Though you need to wash these plates and utensils, you will be saving more money in the long run.
Wasting food can also be an inconvenience for many homeowners. That’s why it’s best to make a list of items you need before going to the store and buying only the things you have written down. This can help keep you accountable and prevent the urge to look around the aisles to buy excess food you may not even need.
If you do have left over foods, keeping them contained in glass food containers rather than tin foil or plastic wrap can help reduce waste.
If you do in fact have excess, unusable food, it may be a good idea to buy a composter; this can turn unused, unwanted food into fertilizer for any plants you may have.
Grow Your Own Produce
This goes well with having a composter. If you have any space in your backyard, it is worthwhile to grow certain vegetables or fruit that you use often such as squash or tomatoes; this way you can insure your ingredients are fresh. Having a composter can also help turn spoiled produce into fertilizer that can be put straight back into your garden.
Use a Water Filter
Rather than going out and buying packs of water bottles, buying a moderately priced water filter can help save both money and waste that is produced in your kitchen. A good water filter placed on your tap can help eliminate excess minerals or metals and give you tap water a clean, refreshing taste.
Get Foot Pedals for your Sink
Installing sensitive foot pedals to your sink can help save water by allowing you to control the amount of water that flows through the faucet. Since these are hands free, it also helps prevent the spread of germs.
Along with this, make sure that your sink is properly draining water; avoid dumping grease or other food particles down the drain as it can lead to clogs that can impede efficiency. Always ensure that your kitchen pipes are leak free to conserve water.
Making your kitchen green can be easily done– and inexpensive at the same time. Buying a composter can help ensure that you keep waste generated from your kitchen at a minimum; also, invest in reusable cleaning products such as dish towels to reduce any unwanted waste. Ultimately, there are a multitude of ways of creating food that is healthy and chemical free, save money on your utility bills, and reduce your carbon footprint substantially.