Oct 28 2009
When you built your new home, chances are you spent time researching the most energy efficient kitchen appliances before making your final choice. While selecting the most earth-friendly appliances is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to green living, there is still more you can do in the kitchen. Take a look at these “green” suggestions and see which ones you can incorporate into your kitchen and cooking routine.
· If you have bright, sunny kitchen windows, pull back the curtains and prepare meals by natural light whenever possible. Only flip the switch on when necessary, but make sure to turn it off when you leave the room.
· Unplug small appliances such as the toaster and coffee maker when not in use.
· Consider no-waste baking. Buy a reusable, nonstick silicone baking mat to save on use of aluminum foil and parchment paper.
· Avoid opening the oven while it is in use. Each time the oven door is opened, the temperature can drop as much as 25-50 degrees requiring more energy to warm it back up.
· Place a lid on the pot when brining water to a boil to prevent heat and energy from escaping. Leaving the lid off extends cooking time and adds heat and moisture to the air making your air conditioner work harder throughout the summer months.
· Make an effort to match pots and pans to the same size burner or heating element and center it on the flame or element to prevent heat from escaping.
· Choose the right size pot or pan for the job. It takes more energy to heat a large pot or pan, so choose smaller ones when appropriate to save energy.
· Whenever possible, use the same pot or pan for multiple foods.
· Make smart decisions about running the dishwasher. Dishwashers are designed to get the dishes clean no matter how dirty they are or what was baked in them. There is no need to pre-rinse. Save the water instead. Also, only run the dishwasher when it is full, conserving water and energy. Skipping the drying cycle is a plus saving even more energy and keeping the kitchen cool.
· Take advantage of the freezer. A full freezer uses less energy to cool than an empty one. Stock your freezer buying large quantities of meats and vegetables when they are on sale (saving you cash) and freeze them for future use (saving you a trip to the grocery store later.)
There are many other things you can do to make earth-friendly and energy efficient choices in the kitchen. Beginning with these tips will get you started down the right path.