There are lots of little things we can do in the kitchen to make our cooking and cleaning up habits earth friendlier. It only takes a slight shift in attitude and a little time to make some of these actions a habit. Pick a few of these and change them today. Then come back and pick a few more in a week or so. You’ll save energy, resources, and even a few nutrients.
• If you can manage with less light in the kitchen, remove a light bulb or two from your overhead light fixture. You’ll use less electricity and go through fewer light bulbs.
• Cook double meals. If you’re making a lasagna, make two. Freeze the second one, and all you’ll need to do is defrost and reheat on another night. It doesn’t take any more energy to cook two lasagnas than it does to cook one lasagna, and it takes less energy to reheat it than it would to cook one from scratch.
• Be wise with your water. Save the water from cooking vegetables or pasta (but not meat) to water your indoor or outdoor plants. The nutrients that leached from the food into the water will be good for your plants. Make sure the water is cool first before you use it for the plants.
• Use rags instead of paper towels. They can be thrown in the wash with a load of bathroom towels when dirty so it doesn’t really take any extra energy to wash them.
• Eat leftovers so the energy used to produce the food and cook it doesn’t end up being wasted.
• If you can cook something in the toaster oven instead of the big oven, do it. The toaster oven uses a lot less energy, and it often cooks more quickly. Treehugger reports that toaster oven use about half the energy of a conventional oven.
• Compost your food scraps instead of sending them to the landfill where they’ll create methane gas or down the garbage disposal where you’ll use energy and water to dispose of them. When you compost food and use the compost in a garden, you return valuable nutrients to the ground.
• Don’t forget to unplug energy sucking appliances when they aren’t in use.
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