An eco-friendly kitchen begins with eating nutritious, minimally-processed foods that are healthy for you and the environment. But, it doesn’t stop there. Using energy-efficient appliances, avoiding toxic cleaning products and keeping a “green” mindset in everything you do are also very important.
According to Good Green Kitchens author Jennifer Roberts, when you are contemplating how to make your kitchen eco-friendly, don’t assume you need to spend big bucks. Ask yourself, “‘What environmental problem am I trying to solve, and what are some easy steps to take for maximum impact?'”
Here are a few green kitchen tips to get you started.
- Cookware: Buy cookware and utensils that stand the test of time. Instead of Teflon pots and pans, go for stainless steel or cast iron. A good cast iron skillet will last for generations. (I speak from experience. I’m still using a skillet that belonged to my grandmother.) Also, choose sturdy utensils and high quality knives that you can sharpen yourself.
- Gas vs. Electric Stoves: It can be a tough choice between gas and electric, but ultimately it depends on your budget and cooking preferences. Pick the option that you’ll be able to live with for at least a decade or more, which will save on materials and resources from a manufacturing standpoint.
- Appliances: When the time comes to replace your appliances, look for the Energy Star rating available for stoves, refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers. Then choose a sturdy model that will last and choose a simple design. Less is more when it comes to being green.
- Drink Smarter: Water-filtering pitchers or faucets-mounted systems can greatly reduce lead, chlorine-taste, chloroform and other contaminants. This will also help to cut down on bottled-water and the plastic containers it comes in.
- Ditch Plastic: Choose resealable glass containers for storing leftovers, soups and other foods. There is no such thing as a safe plastic, whether it’s labeled “BPA-free” or not.
- Bring Your Own Bag: Reusable shopping bags are convenient, attractive, and environmentally friendly. Some grocery stores offer discounts if you use your bags.
9 Ways to Go Green in the Kitchen: www.bhg.com
The Conscious Kitchen: The New Way to Buy and Cook Food, by Alexandra Zissu
Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time, by David R. Johnston
The Next Green Revolution – National Geographic: www.nationalgeographic.com