If you’d like to make your home more eco-friendly, the best place to start is the kitchen. Even just a few simple changes can make a huge difference – the following tips will get you off to a great start.
If you don’t already do so, start recycling. A lot of energy and natural resources go into producing materials like paper, plastic, metal and cardboard and by recycling them you will be helping to ensure that they get the maximum possible use. Find out about your area’s recycling program and start diverting as many recyclables as possible out of your garbage.
Reduce the amount of garbage you are contributing to the landfill by composting your organic materials instead of throwing them away. You can compost anything from fruit and vegetable scraps through to coffee grounds in a simple inground composting system. And if you want a total solution, high intensity systems like bokashi can handle almost anything organic. If you don’t have a yard of your own, ask a neighbour if you can contribute to their compost or get a plot at a local community garden.
Use non-toxic cleaners
Don’t be fooled into believing that you need toxic chemicals to clean your kitchen. Some of the most effective cleaning products are all-natural. Products such as baking soda, borax, white vinegar and castile soap can clean almost anything without harming you or the environment. You can also find a wide array of recipes online for making everything from eco-friendly dish detergent and drain cleaner through to non-toxic solutions for dealing with ants or fruit flies.
Invest in efficient appliances
When it’s time to upgrade a kitchen appliance, factor the environment into the decision. Modern appliances are far more efficient in their use of resources than those of days gone by; for example, modern ovens and refrigerators require considerably less energy, while modern dishwashers use far less water. Most appliances are now clearly labelled with their energy and water ratings, and while you will pay a little more for efficient models they will save you money in the long run.
Upgrade your lighting
Switching from incandescent light bulbs to LED or CFL bulbs will mean you will use a lot less electricity and your bulbs will also last considerably longer. If you can afford some more serious upgrades, consider investing in motion sensor lighting or have an extra window or skylight installed so you can make the most of the natural light.
Don’t waste heat
You can drastically reduce the amount of electricity you use in the kitchen by getting better use of any heat you generate. When boiling water only heat up as much as you need, put lids on pots and saucepans to prevent heat escaping and cover those baked dinners with foil or a tight fitting lid so that they require less time in the oven.
While an eco-friendly kitchen may require a little extra thought and effort, the results are certainly worth it. If you’d like more information on composting or would just like to chat about your environmental efforts, talk to the experts at Bokashi.