Health starts from your kitchen. The kitchen is a very important part of human’s life. Just a green meal doesn’t make you Eco-friendly. Probably the most ideal and the best way to make the kitchen Eco friendly is by adopting energy efficient food preparation methods, sustainable equipment, zero toxic chemicals and most importantly proper cleaning. Here are a few very simple suggestions to make your kitchen green.
1. Materials used:
Choice of an appropriate cooking material is very much necessary. Though it is not very cheap, but its good to use stainless steel. Similarly, low quality wooden or plastic utensils are strictly prohibited because wood can rot and plastic melts in high flames.
2. Energy matters:
One should look for energy efficient models or replace old appliances which are basically energy hogs. There is a permanent fight between gas and electric burners. Both have a few advantages, like controlling temperature is easier in gas, whereas electric stove is the more energy efficient. In the electric inductions the coil material is very sensitive which gets energized very quickly and transfers electromagnetic energy, whereas gas stove takes much more time to transfer the heat and get cooled. But we can’t use all the metal cookware like cast iron, stainless steel, glass pots etc on the induction oven. This is the main drawback of electric stove. Another option is ceramic glass surface made of halogen elements which respond very sensitively to changing temperatures. However, the drawback with this material is that there is wastage of energy when the contact between the pan and hot glass surface is not good.
3. Right appliances:
Appropriate appliances increase the beauty of your kitchen and make it healthy. Meanwhile, it should be taken care of that they are easy to clean, consume less amount of water, do not contain hazardous chemicals or materials, and of course their energy star rating is good. After a certain time we all need to change our old appliances as they consume lots of energy. As an example, after 10-12 years a refrigerator starts consuming almost 3 times of energy than when it was new. Maintenance of the appliances is very important for efficient utilization.
4. Energy efficient cooking:
Preheating should be done before roasting or baking. It is good to use toaster oven for small dishes or microwave for reheating, which saves energy. We should also take care of the size of pots being used and the size of burner of stove. For example, a 6 inch pot used on an 8 inch burner wastes 40 percent of energy. Fitting lids of pots also reduces the energy wastage. Use of pressure cooker consumes very less energy.
5. Make it your own:
Making food yourself is preferable instead of pre-prepared frozen foods, because you can make your meal fresh and reheat or freeze it without losing its taste or quality. You can use baking soda and vinegar for washing your dishes or several things in kitchen. Seltzer siphon and carbonator could be used to fizz drinking water and a homemade syrup is the best thing to flavor it.
6. Buy good quality food
The quality of food you purchase must be checked like other equipment. It is advised to purchase foods like fruits, vegetables etc from your local market or directly from the farmer. The food items coming from a long distance may taste good but may not always be nutritious and hygienic. Specially the organic food gets spoiled in a very short time. As an example, off season foods coming from a very long distance are kept in preservatives, biocides etc which spoil the quality of food.
7. Have a lot:
If you can consume the things you are purchasing, then whatever you will do – buy or cook – do it in a bulk. It will save your time, less visits to the store, more efficient use of appliances, and of course the financial savings. As an example, a bulk amount of towels purchased for cleaning cars, can be used in kitchen; you can prepare soups to serve for two or more meals in one go and enjoy your leisure time!
8. No wastage:
Mostly a kitchen produces the maximum amount of domestic waste. To prevent this, you need to inculcate some eco-friendly habits like using recyclable bags and carrying your own every time you visit the market to avoid waste generated through packaging. Do not cook excess food, which you can not consume and have to throw away, recycle all the possible things like, bottles, bags, glass jars etc. Uncooked organic waste can be used as compost in the local farms.
9. Keep it clean:
There are lots of cleaning products and varieties now a days in the market. You can use market based dishwashing liquids, biodegradable, non toxic detergents, floor cleaners etc to keep your kitchen clean. You can also make your own cleaning products like using baking soda, vinegar etc.
10. Recycling and Remodeling:
Recycling and remodeling are the most important green tips for your kitchen. Starting from the floors to paneling, kitchen fittings or utensils – you need to choose them wisely such that they are recyclable.