Going green is all the rage these days, but what does that really mean? For many, it can seem like an out-of-reach goal that is only really pursued by the wealthy and well-to-do. Hybrid and electric vehicles are expensive, solar arrays are expensive, and you have bills to pay! Fortunately, there is a way to both go green and save money in the process: by going green in your daily life and your daily routines. Just take a look at what you do on a regular basis, and consider how you can make it greener. For example, your kitchen may very well have the biggest carbon footprint in your household; why not take control and green it up? Here are some great tips for making your kitchen a more environmentally friendly place!
1. Be Frugal
By be frugal, we mean that you should try to make everything last as long as possible before buying a replacement and throwing the old appliance, cookware, or other kitchen must-have out. This can mean a number of things, including so basic an approach as buying higher-quality, longer-lasting cookware, dishes, and utensils that can be used for a long time before they have to be disposed of.
Stainless steel and cast iron pots, pans, and utensils are a known quantity: they last forever and can stand up to just about any abuse. Then there are your knives, which you can sharpen yourself, and the list goes on and on. Make it last and be frugal about your spending in the kitchen!
2. The Tools Make the Kitchen
Of course, the key to any good kitchen is good appliances. Whether this means a dishwasher, a blender, a microwave, or any number of other kitchen essentials, your appliances have to be top notch to produce the stellar meals you want to eat in a timely fashion. Consequently, these high quality appliances can sometimes be a serious drain on the power bill, using up incredible amounts of energy…
That is, unless they have an Energy Star rating that indicates they don’t use much energy at all. Energy-efficient upgrades to appliances old and new are available, and are not only greener but can save you money over time if you buy high quality replacements.
3. Be a Buddy & Buy Local
The food that you are cooking and eating comes to you through a long and often quite non-green means. From factory farms to the transport of those foods to the sale of them at large grocery stores, the typical American’s diet consists of food with a very big carbon footprint. You can change that by buying local. Locally-sourced food is often made in a healthier, more humane, and more responsible manner, while also being itself cheaper to ship, store, and sell both in terms of cost and in terms of energy usage. Buying local can seriously reduce your carbon footprint in the kitchen!
Of course, there are countless other ways to save money and save the world in your kitchen. Deciding between gas and electric for your stove, for example, can be a critical decision that greatly impacts your carbon footprint, as can the practice of buying in bulk to save on packaging and driving to the grocery store. For as many kitchens as there are in the world, there are ways to save – why not trying out a few ways yourself?
+Ken Uhrich likes houses. In fact he lives in one. He gives home building and home improvement tips on the Custom Home Group website.