The kitchen is constantly brimming with activity and is one of the most important spaces in a household. A few simple energy-efficient changes can just make all the difference to the look, feel and the overall health of the kitchen environment. Scroll through this post to learn how you can adopt eco-friendly habits to create a greener kitchen today!
Refrigerator And Freezer
Most of the refrigerators available in the market today are fairly energy efficient and use 30% of the power that yesteryear refrigerators used. Here are a few tips and tricks to quickly maximize the efficiency of your existing refrigerator –
- Fill up the empty spaces in your freezer. The more you stock the freezer, the lesser the chances of losing cold air every time you yank open the door. Stock your freezer with a lot of products so that they insulate one another. If you are running out of ideas to keep your freezer full, stock it with a few jugs of water, perhaps?
- You can cool the food from the last night to room temperature before you put it back into the fridge. This will ensure that the fridge doesn’t use extra electricity to cool the food down.
- Always cover all liquids with an air-tight lid when you store them in the fridge. If you keep liquids open, extra energy will be utilized to remove moisture from the liquids.
- A rule you definitely need to follow is to vacuum the back of the refrigerator and keep the coils clean, once every six months.
- Ensure that the seals are tight if you have an older model.
- If you are planning on buying a new fridge, opt for a model that comes with a manual-defrost option. They consume 30-40 % lesser electricity than automatic-defrost models. Also, if you are looking at better insulation, pick top-loading freezers or chest freezers over upright ones.
It is a fact that you’ll save more water if you leave all the cumbersome dish-cleaning to a dishwasher. If you want to maximize its efficiency, here’s what you can do –
- Save time and effort by directly putting your dirty dishes into the dishwashers. If you are worried that you do not have enough dishes to put in, you can always use the ‘rinse-and-hold’ feature, that will use a gallon of water (or probably lesser), to clean the dishes spotlessly. However, as a general rule, it is better to run the dishwasher when it is loaded with dishes and not when it is half-full.
- Save electricity and dry the dishes by hand. Don’t opt for the ‘heat-drying’ option.
- During sweltering summers, run the dishwasher in the night to keep the kitchen cool when you are cooking, instead of using the air-conditioner.
- If you are planning to invest in a dishwasher, go for one that comes with an Energy Star rating. These dishwashers are 25% better than the standard ones. Look for a dishwasher that comes with an EF of 0.7 or above and don’t forget to calculate the prospective dishwasher’s water use.
CFL bulbs are energy-efficient and last up to 10 times more than conventional bulbs. If you have conventional bulbs at home, it would be prudent to have them replaced.
Use a microwave instead of an oven if you have smaller plates of food to heat. What you could alternatively use is a slow cooker, which is energy efficient. Another fun tip that you could integrate with your energy-saving practices is opting to cook outside during the summers. Take a look at a few other tips –
- Ovens today heat up in a matter of seconds. Don’t preheat your ovens beforehand. Also, switch off the ovens 10-15 minutes before the dish is fully cooked. The residual heat will cook the food thoroughly by the time you take the dish out.
- You need to stop opening the oven door constantly to check on your dish. If you do this, the oven will lose heat and you may have to reset the temperature. Instead, use the oven light.
- Right after you are done cooking a meal, the oven stays hot. This is the best time to use the self-clean function.
- When you are cooking on the stove, always cover the pots with lids to save energy. Always match the size of the pot to the flame on the stove. It wouldn’t make sense to place a small pot on a really large flame and vice versa.
- Gas costs less than half as much as an electric oven. Invest in gas.
If you have electrical appliances that come with a display or a remote control, unplug them from the sockets even if they are not in use. If you have kitchen appliances like a coffeemaker plugged into a power strip, turn off the switch before you go out. You will begin to notice a marked difference in the utility bills you receive.
Garbage disposals require a lot of water and electricity for treatment at water-treatment facilities. For households, frequent pumping of excessive solids could mean that the groundwater and surface water could get contaminated. Opt for compost food waste instead. This definitely offsets the disadvantages of using garbage disposals.
There are a few ways of making even the regular garbage bag an environmental-friendly option. Reduce the amount of waste you create by recycling it and compost as much of it as you can. Reuse the plastic bags you get from shopping and don’t accumulate new ones.
Utensils & Containers
Plastics contain harmful chemicals such as bisphenol A and phthalates. When you are re-heating leftover food or preparing fresh food to serve in bowls, think of eco-friendly, reusable options to serve them in such as kitchenware made of glass or bamboo.
Stay clear of petroleum-based chemicals or chemical cleaners that contain synthetic chemicals such as phthalates. Many conventional cleaners such asbleach are laced with these properties. If you are looking for an greener option, pick cleaners that are not heavy on fragrance or DIY cleaners that you can make with white vinegar or baking soda.
If you want to go green with your kitchen, now would be the best time to start!
We hope you have found these tips useful and will take the first green step by at least incorporating one of these tips today!
Here’s to a greener world!