Eat your greens
How to make your kitchen an eco-friendly space.
Back in the 1970s, a green kitchen was one with cabinets the shade of a ripe lime, a table that looked like it was made out of apples, and green linoleum floors. And it was frisée lettuce with everything. Yes, green was a trendy colour for kitchens.
Nowadays, a green kitchen means something else.
Kitchens are where we spend most of our time when at home. We cook and eat, read and watch television, help the kids with their homework, and entertain friends and family. This translates into a massive use of energy and generation of waste. But not if we use efficient appliances and lighting systems, opt for eco-friendly materials, reduce the use of plastic and packaging, adapt efficient measures, and eat green.
Here are six easy and inexpensive ways to transform your kitchen into a green space.
Install a composter
You don’t need to throw away your organic kitchen waste. By installing a recycling bin in your kitchen, you cut down on your garbage. Moreover, if you invest in a composter, you can transform the waste into great compost for your garden. Green kitchen and greener plants.
Use energy-efficient appliances
When replacing your kitchen appliances, make sure that you choose the more efficient models. This shouldn’t be an issue as most new appliances meet and exceed energy efficiency standards. There are also frequent financing initiatives to help you purchase energy-efficient appliances.
Also, adopt some best practices, like not running your dishwasher unless it’s completely full and keeping your refrigerator well stocked, since a full refrigerator uses less energy than an empty one. And for baking, you don’t need to pre-heat your oven from 20 minutes before – most modern ovens reach high temperatures much faster than that.
Install energy-efficient lighting
Using light efficiently in your kitchen doesn’t just mean changing the lights to energy-efficient ones. There are other things you can do, especially at planning stage. When building your new kitchen, maximise natural light by opening up large, light-facing windows and opting for light, reflective surfaces for your cabinets and surfaces. And you don’t actually need to switch on all the lights to brew a coffee.
Add locally grown, seasonal and organic foods to your diet and make frequent trips to the farmers’ market – imported food usually travels thousands of miles, which is obviously not kind on the planet. The fewer miles from source to table, the better.
Also, avoid buying food which comes packaged in layers of excessive plastic as well as frozen food – instead, buy fresh food and cook it yourself. That way, you cut down on waste and eat better.
Reuse items whenever you can. Old glass jars and bottles, for instance, are great for storage. Also, when buying your groceries, take your own cloth bags – it’s what your mum used to do.
Choose green materials
When planning your new kitchen, opt for materials that are renewable such as cork and bamboo for the flooring. For wood, make sure that this is sourced responsibly or else go for reclaimed wood. For working tops, options include compressed paper, recycled glass or ceramic mixed with concrete.
For utensils and cookware, choose materials that can stand the test of time and which don’t need to be replaced frequently. Go for cast iron and stainless steel – a bit more expensive, but a good investment as they last much longer.