Today, people are more aware of our impact and the lasting effects they have on the environment. Many want to do their part in conserving energy and minimizing waste through the use of sustainable materials and energy-efficient equipment. Not only will it further reduce our carbon footprint, but it can also help you attain a truly healthy kitchen. So if you are looking for a few ideas for greening your kitchen, here are some of the best practices, products, and reusable items to help you.
5 Ways of Greening Your Kitchen
1. Make Changes in Your Food Preparation.
When my family wanted to make our home more eco-friendly, we started with our kitchen. The first step was to change our eating habits. We ordered out less, stopped buying highly processed foods, and switched to a diet with more produce and locally sourced ingredients.
Not only did this lead to a healthier lifestyle, but also a greener kitchen. The next step was to reduce the amount of energy we used to prepare our food. We minimized our oven usage and found these products that have completely changed our meal prep, saving even more time and money.
- Pressure Cooker
- Crock Pot
- Air Fryer
- Chest Freezer
2. Reduce Food Waste
When you waste less food, you create less garbage. What’s more, you also spend less on groceries. In addition to adjusting your habits, these products and practices can also help you reduce your household’s food waste.
- Utilize reusable containers.
- Choose ziplock bags that can be washed and reused over plastic wrap.
- Repurpose waste by composting.
3. Find Sustainable Supplies
One of the most significant changes we have made is switching from plastic products to reusable items. As mentioned above, these products can reduce waste while also scaling back plastic usage to eliminate many toxic chemicals from your routine.
Here are a few of the most popular sustainable kitchen supplies:
- reusable water bottles
- sustainable dinnerware and cookware sets
- bamboo plates, bowls, and utensils
- eco-friendly kitchen towels
- cloth grocery bags
- reusable, stainless steel coffee filters
- silicone “food huggers” for fresh produce
- metal and glass containers with air-tight lids
- beeswax wrap
- biodegradable sponges and paper products
- compostable trash bags
4. Use Natural Cleaning Products
Another way you can make your kitchen greener is with natural cleaning products. Replacing harsh chemical cleaners with natural ones like white vinegar, ammonia, and citric acid is much healthier and safer for your family. Besides these common household ingredients, many people also highly recommend these sustainable reusable items for your kitchen.
- refillable spray bottles
- bamboo or coconut sponges
- reusable disinfectant wipes
- natural dish soaps
5. Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
This last tip requires a much greater financial investment than the other reusable items on this list. But if it’s time to replace your kitchen appliances, choosing energy-efficient models will decrease your energy consumption, reduce harmful emissions, and lower your water usage.
But if you aren’t certain that this is the right choice for you, consider that:
- Energy-efficient refrigerators consume 9% less energy than ones meeting minimum inspection standards.
- Induction stovetops and ovens use 90% less electricity.
- Energy-efficient dishwashers use 50% less water with each load of dishes.
- Your purchase may also qualify for tax rebates to save you even more money.
For those who do decide to upgrade, you can also find ways eco-conscious ways of disposing of them. In the spirit of sustainability, you can get rid of your old appliances by either selling, donating, or taking them to a recycling center.
The Goal of Reusable Items
Although a single person will not have a huge impact on global emissions, change has to start somewhere. If we all do our part to live healthier, more sustainable lives, it also forces us to become more mindful of how our actions impact everyone and everything around us. By purchasing reusable items and making extra effort to minimize your negative impact, we can all affect change within our circles of influence.
How are you greening your kitchen? Share your ideas in the comments below!
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.