If we want to make efforts towards a greener environment, we should start at home. Our kitchen is the place where usually much energy is consumed – more exactly, by our kitchen appliances.
Making the right choices here can really mean a difference. It will make a significant change towards a greener environment and using up less energy.
A first thing to do is to buy and use material that can last for a long time. Use cookware and utensils that can stand the test of time (meaning: ditch the Teflon, go for stainless steel and cast iron instead).
Look for the energy star rating when buying new appliances – and make sure you buy the right size for this new stove, refrigerator and such. Most families buy something that is in fact too big and will use up a lot more energy. You’ll not only save energy, but money and space as well.
When considering the stove top, there is the choice between gas and electric. Most cooks prefer to cook on gas (gas is a fossil fuel) as it gives instant heat and is easier to control. When you share this idea, you must look for the lowest BTU output. If, on the other hand, you prefer electric cooking, you should know that the most efficient stoves have induction elements, although they are still higher priced.
After the cooking, the dishes need to be washed. You can save a lot of water by using a dishwasher. Especially the newer models are more energy efficient and use less water than washing by hand. Rinsing before you put the dishes in the washer is not necessary anymore. Also, only run your dishwasher when it’s entirely full.
If you are aware of what goes into dishwashing liquids, detergents and cleaners, your stomach would turn. Instead by natural cleaning products that are non-toxic, biodegradable and plant-based. Also make sure your bin liners are of biodegradable material!
Make better use of your oven. Preheating is something prehistoric already. New ovens warm up immediately and will save a lot of energy. If you want to roast meat, turn out the oven fifteen to ten minutes in advance and use the residue heat. Also, try to put several dishes in the oven at the same time, which will save even more energy!
Nowadays you can already buy solar ovens. They are insulated boxes with a transparent lid, which allows the sun rays to heat up the inside (like in a greenhouse). They’ll hold the flavors of the food longer because of the slow, careful and sun-powered cooking.
An old-fashioned chest freezer is actually more efficient that a stand-up model. Heat rises and cold air falls, so when you open the door of a stand-up freezer, the cold air just falls. In the chest freezer it stays put.
When opting for energy-friendly appliances, you can save between 10% and 50% in your monthly energy bill. You can win back the cost of a new and expensive appliance in no time!