You may have been considering your cooking methods or perhaps you are planning a new kitchen and want to make it as green as possible. There are professional designers who will advise you on how to make your kitchen as environmentally friendly as possible but apart from expensive cookers and other fittings there are some other smaller things you can consider doing.
It isn’t just about what appliances you use, it is also what ingredients you put in them, how you cook them and what you do with the food and waste afterwards. Here are some ways you can make your meal times more eco friendly and reduce energy usage.
1. Shop locally
Vehicles guzzle gas and fossil fuels cause pollution. If your budget allows, try to source as much of your food locally as possible. You don’t have to buy everything this way but by making some changes and perhaps visiting your local farmers market once a week or so you will be making a positive adjustment and a small improvement.
2. Grow your own
If you have an area outside you could consider growing a few things like tomatoes and other easy to grow vegetables. This not only provides you with a source of fresh food literally on your doorstep but will also reduce your shopping bill. If you are really serious about growing your own fruit and vegetables then see if your area has any allotments and put your name down on the list to get your own patch. Be prepared to put some work in but the rewards could be well worth it.
If you don’t have any space then just growing some herbs on your windowsill will still make a difference. By growing your own you will no longer be buying plastic packets of overpriced leaves. If you have too many just freeze them in ice cubes ready to pop into your food as you cook.
3. Packaging waste
Avoid buying food that is pre-packed wherever possible. You may find picking up those mushrooms sealed in a plastic box and covered with more plastic is more convenient than selecting your own and bagging them but if you take a small amount of time to do this you will almost certainly save money. Not only that but mushrooms will last longer in a paper bag than in plastic and paper is biodegradable.
4. Replacing damaged or broken items
Changing your bulbs for energy saving ones as they blow will save a small amount and use less electricity. If you have plastic containers don’t just throw them out, that will create more waste, but if they get damaged or start to smell then replace them for other materials such as plant based, glass or ceramic.
5. Boil water in a kettle not a pan
If you are making pasta or something else on the stove that requires boiling water then use the kettle first. A kettle can be nearly twice as efficient at boiling water as doing it with a saucepan. Just pour the boiling water into the pan and carry on cooking.
6. Get a manual espresso machine
This one is a bit of a luxury but if you really, truly love espressos then you can get an espresso machine that uses man power instead of electricity to squeeze the water through the coffee. They are made from engine grade metal and will last a lifetime so will eventually pay for itself. It will just take some time.
Failing that just use a reusable coffee cup. Instead of picking up a paper cup at your favorite coffee outlet every morning take your own in. If your shop doesn’t allow this then find an eco friendly coffee shop that does. Those paper cups contain plastic liners and they are non recyclable. Work out how many cups you throw away a week and multiply by 52. You may be shocked.
7. Invest in an induction cooker
Induction cookers heat the cooking surface more efficiently than other flat surfaced cookers and they are also smart. Well, smart enough to turn themselves off when not in use. Remove your cooking pan from the surface for around 30 seconds and the induction cooker will power off. You can also set the timer for them to turn off after a certain time unlike gas or traditional electric cookers. Changing old appliances for more eco friendly appliances as they become old or fail can help reduce your bills and save energy.
8. Use your own containers for takeout
Not everywhere will accept this but some restaurants will let you bring your own containers but if you have a good relationship with your local favorite they might let you. If not search out eco friendly takeaways that will. You will be saving all that wasted packaging.
9. Buy an Instant Pot
If you want to reduce your energy while cooking and still eat healthily then this might be for you. Instant Pots cook up to 70% quicker than conventional methods meaning that you are reducing energy bills and saving time. They cook with steam and no added fat so you get lower fat meals. Unless you use them to make cakes and desserts that is. They can cook a wide range of meals and if you are unsure of what to make you can simply search Google or websites like Corrie Cooks for a choice of recipes.
Buy a composting bin and start putting all your vegetable waste in this. You can add it to your compost heap when full or give to a friend who is a keen gardener. If you don’t know anyone who wants your waste then you can use a local compost pick up service.
11. Making small changes
You don’t have to install solar panels or your own personal windmill to make a difference. Just start with small changes. Everything you do can help to improve the environment in some way and usually you will save money too. The main reasons we avoid doing these things is habit, initial expense or laziness. A little effort into picking your own vegetables instead of prepackaged and you have saved a mound of waste packaging and saved money.
Article Submitted By Community Writer