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Create a more environmentally friendly kitchen

BY DIONNE LISTER

Hands up who has a kitchen; just as I thought, everyone. Today I’ll be talking about the little things we can do to be more environmentally friendly in this pivotal room, the heart of the home. There are a few ways we can be greener in the kitchen, which include; saving water, using fewer chemicals and using less electricity. So where do I start?

One of the easiest ways to save money and carbon emissions is to choose appliances with the highest star ratings you can afford. According to some estimates the fridge uses approximately 14% of the total household energy, with cooking, at 12%, a close second. Star ratings aside, there are additional ways to choose a more energy efficient fridge; side by sides use 10% more energy than freezer on top models and through-the-door, automatic ice makers use an additional 20%.

Turn off microwaves, jugs and coffee makers when they’re not in use as the extra power they use adds up. There are some small appliances designed to save energy and money, one of these is the eco-kettle which has dual compartments and only boils enough water for what you need - you can choose to boil water for just one cup of tea, so it saves time, therefore energy.

Cooking is a major sap on energy but there are lots of ways you can reduce the carbon footprint on this one. Stoves and ovens don’t come with star ratings but as a general rule, the smaller the oven, the less electricity it will use. Buy a model that includes a fan-forced mode as this has been proven to reduce energy consumption and use electric frypans or microwaves where possible. When it comes to stoves the most energy efficient way to cook is with a ceramic induction stove, however they are expensive. Here is a list of other ways to cut down your energy use when cooking:

  • Fit the right pot to the right stove hob
  • Thaw food before cooking
  • Use a pressure cooker as it cooks faster
  • Use the minimum water in pots that you can get away with
  • Use a toaster instead of a stove grill and save three times the energy
  • Check oven seals, and when cooking turn the oven off ten minutes before you’re done
  • Where possible cook several things at once in the oven or in the same pot
  • Don’t open the oven door when you’re cooking, if you can help it
  • When buying an oven look for fan forced, triple glazing and a high standard of insulation
  • When using a gas stove don’t let the flame run up the sides of the pot

I know it may not be possible to buy a new dishwasher right away, but today’s more efficient models use less than half the water and one quarter the electricity of a ten year old model.

Tap (or faucet) aerators reduce water use by up to 50% and make sure to change the washers if your tap springs a leak.

Try and choose dishwashing and cleaning products that are less toxic and better for the environment.

Doing any of these things on a constant basis will reduce your damage to the environment and your wallet -  sounds like a win/win to me.

 

sources:

http://www.enviromart.net.au/eco-kettles.html
http://www.livinggreener.gov.au/energy/energy-efficient-appliances/cooking-efficiently

What do you think?


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