Kitchen is the first place to start when you want to make your house more environmentally friendly because kitchen consumes the most energy. Just imagine all those electrical appliances used, all the food stored and processed and all the cleaning needed in a modern kitchen. Kitchen is surely an energy-eater. May this guide help you to have a more eco-friendly kitchen.
Probably, the best way to have a greener kitchen is by remodeling your kitchen, off course without sacrificing comfort. However, this step is not always practical or may become too expensive. If this is the case you can stillrenovate or change part of your kitchen to make it greener and at the same time more stylist. This is how:
• Flooring material: choose renewable materials such as bamboo or cork. Bamboo can last for many years; it can be easily replenished and comes in variety of different colors. It even has looks like hardwood. Cork is also durable. Just like bamboo it has the appearance of wood and moreover, it is a perfect insulation material for noise and cold.
• Countertops: choose countertops made from recycled materials like metal (for example aluminum) or crushed glass. Glass sparkling material has many color possibilities, meanwhile the shiny metal could provide modern look.
• Salvaged building materials: if possible, use salvaged materials such as stone slabs or tile that you could buy in nearby shop.
• Natural lights: add more windows or skylights to invite more natural lights into your kitchen.
Kitchen Appliances, Tools & Utensils
• Electrical appliances: choose ones with low wattage. Low wattage means less energy, less heat and less cost. For example: slow cooker is better than an ordinary oven. A compact fluorescent bulb is better than standard light bulbs. Use solar water heater whenever possible. Replace your old refrigerator. Refrigerator manufactured more than 10 years ago consumes more energy than the newer one.
• Kitchen products: buy organic kitchen products such as organic plates, glasses, coffee accessories made of recycled materials. Bamboo cutting boards and cooking utensils are increasingly popular today. It is renewable and it last longer than woods. Choose frying pan and pot made of cast iron. Iron is good heat conductor and definitely durable. In addition iron pan or pots contain fewer chemicals than other cookware materials. Stop using disposable items. To make cupcakes or muffin you can now use silicone baking cups instead
• Recycling tools: buying a can crusher is a smart green investment. By crushing cans you can put more cans into a bag before changing it out. Use biodegradable or recycling plastic bags for your garbage.
Eating Habit and Cooking Method
Little change in the eating habit and cooking method could have a great impact to the environment. These are some little things you can do:
• Do a green shopping, meaning: buy less; buy local, organic, fresh and natural food. Buy fruit and vegetable that is in season. Buy food in bulk to save needles packaging and save your pocket.
• Leftover green management by turning leftover into new meal. It can be done by several ways, for example you can heat leftovers and toss it with chopped veggies to make salad. To reduce or avoid leftover, store food properly. Lastly, purchase a compost bin and turn your leftover into compost. Do check which kind of ingredients can or cannot be put into the compost bin.
Cleaning Your Kitchen
Kitchen contains more germs and bacteria than any other room in the house. Products used to clean the kitchen usually are toxic and not environmentally friendly. Here is some way to reduce the effect of your kitchen cleaning activity on the environment:
• Cleaning products: instead of using chemicals, made your own cleaning products using natural items. Use baking soda to get rid of grease and coffee or tea stain. Baking soda in combination with vinegar can be used to scrub stainless steel sink and clean your refrigerator. To clean burn saucepan, use olive oil. To wash copper pans, use coarse salt. For much nicer scent, lemon can be used instead of vinegar. Should using chemical cleaning product is inevitable, choose eco-friendly products. Biodegradable and plant-based cleaning products are available in the market. You can search the internet for more alternatives on natural cleaners.
• Dishwasher usage: only use dishwasher when it is full. Let the dishes dry in the open air. Avoid using detergents; instead use petroleum-based liquid soap that can be used in combination with baking soda.