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Going Green in Your Kitchen

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8257163996_2e57d3d11a_b“Helping to create a sustainable earth is important to each and every person on the planet, whether they want to admit it or not. There are many reasons why going green is important; from lowering utility bills, to stopping the effects of global warming and most importantly making a planet that is livable for future generations.” Matthew Speer, Sustainable Living & Sustainable Lifestyle, 2012.

I have been thinking a lot lately about simple ways that you can go green in your home. One idea that I had was figuring out ways to go green in your kitchen, a spot in the home that is used most frequently by you and your entire family. I have come up with a few nifty tips that I thought you may be interested in. I hope you find these tips helpful, and remember to share these with your family!

Do you have a green thumb? If so, starting a garden may be a great idea. Whether you set out to have a full out vegetable garden with all the fixings, have a smaller garden with a few crops, or a small window sill filled with fresh herbs, the taste and freshness will all be worth it!

If you don’t need it, don’t use it! Now, I know this sounds vague, but, what I mean is whenever possible, mix and beat ingredients for cooking by hand, avoid washing dishes unnecessarily or wash by hand, and if you’re able to cook multiple items at the same time do it! This refrains from using too much electricity while still getting the job done. If you can, switch to energy-efficient appliances such as a crock-pot or a toaster oven which uses up to 30% less energy than using a microwave or the oven.

Instead of shopping for your veggies in a super market, try checking out your local farmers market. Usually, they have a plethora of vegetables available for you that includes but isn’t limited to: cucumbers, lettuce, squash, multiple types of herbs and fresh round tomatoes!

When shopping at the super market, or going to your local farmers market, try and bring your own reusable bags. This also avoids using too many plastic bags.

Ditch the plastic wrap and the aluminum foil and purchase reusable containers. This avoids having too much waste as well as keeping your food a lot fresher! You can purchase sturdy, stack-able plastic containers or food huggers! These both are great ways to save your left-over food, and can be purchased at your local improvement store or discount department stores.

#DidYouKnow that when cooking on the stove, using cooking lids actually saves up to three times as much energy than not using them? Save time and energy cooking with lids and expect a more energy-efficient quicker meal!

Switch all of your lights in the kitchen to energy-efficient light bulbs. You can find these for reasonably inexpensive at your local home improvement store or discount department stores.

Whether you have a large family, a smaller one or it is just you, you can save time and energy by cooking larger portions. Don’t worry though, if you have extra you can put half aside in the freezer or fridge for a quick easy meal at a later time. Heck, you may even have lunch for the next day!

Avoid watching the fridge channel and decide what you’re looking for before opening the fridge. It is important to never keep the fridge or freezer door open for longer than necessary. The longer it is open, the longer it takes for the fridge to regain temperature.

If you can cook, put your skills to the test! Cooking meals from scratch using fresh ingredients is not only the healthier choice, it is often less expensive, better for the environment and taste ten times better than any packaged, frozen meal. Most packaged food is produced in processes that are harmful for the environment and not the best for your body.