Thursday, December 8, 2011

How to Green Your Kitchen

Making an effort to “go green” in your home will not only help reduce your carbon footprint on the environment, but it will also help lower your utility bills and give you an overall healthier home to live in. There are many simple ways you can green your home, and here are some tips for improving your earth-consciousness in your kitchen.

Cloth Towels
There is an overabundance of waste creating by using paper towels and paper napkins in the kitchen. Ditch the paper products and go for cloth towels that you can wash and reuse almost endlessly. For an even greener approach, buy towels made from organic cotton or hemp.

Water Filters
If you’re using bottled water, go for a more environmentally friendly way to drink purified water. Get a Brita pitcher and keep it filled with water in your fridge instead. Or get a PUR water filter to attach to your faucet. If you must bring a water bottle with you, buy a reusable, BPA-free bottle.

When redoing your kitchen, your standard wood cabinets will end up contributing to air contamination because of the chemicals used to press and treat them, such as formaldehyde. For a greener approach, buy used cabinets. If you’d like something new, go for cabinets that are made with no or low-VOC ingredients or from sustainably harvested wood.

Purchase cookware that is durable and will last a long time, and avoid cheap pots and pans that you’ll have to replace. Teflon contains trace amounts of potentially harmful chemicals. Some good options are cast iron and stainless steel. Also go for utensils that will last, by avoiding cheap plastics and wood, and invest in some sharp, durable knives.

If you need to replace your appliances, look for ones that are ENERGY STAR certified. There are government rebate programs that will help offset the potential higher cost, so look into those. Your kitchen appliances use up a great deal of the total energy used in your home, so it’ll make a big difference to go for more efficient models. Make sure you perform regular maintenance on your appliances to keep them running their best.

Use less energy in the kitchen by opening your shades and increasing your use of natural light. Also, replace your light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. They will help reduce the amount of electricity used, and even though they are more expensive, they last up to eight times longer than incandescent light bulbs.

Do your best to reduce the amount of water you use when washing your dishes. Don’t run the dishwasher unless it is completely full of dishes, and use eco-friendly detergent that doesn’t contain phosphates. For the sink, install a low-flow aerator that will drastically reduce your water consumption.

Gas stoves are more energy-efficient than electric stoves, as long as they don’t have a pilot light, which continually uses gas. When you’re cooking, match your pots and pans to the most appropriate burner size, and keep lids on tightly. This will help make the most efficient use of your energy.

Buy Organic
When cooking, use organic foods whenever possible, because they are not made with any harmful chemicals or pesticides. Also, try to buy local produce and goods. This will cut out the waste of transportation and packaging that is required when your food comes from farther away.

Green is in! To save paper and save the trees always use a grammar checker before printing your professional or school work.