The kitchen is the most used room in the entire house. It acts as a central hub for families to gather. People eat, socialize, cook, do homework, play games and enjoy time for relaxation in this very important room of the house. It only makes sense that the kitchen plays a huge role in how sustainable our lives are. Reducing our carbon footprint should be a goal of every single person on this planet. Whether you believe in global warming or not, we only have one planet on which to live, right? Why not learn to tread a little bit lighter by creating a sustainable kitchen!
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The Sustainable Kitchen: 5 Easy Ways to Live Greener!
Let me just state that creating a sustainable kitchen is not something that you will accomplish overnight. However, it should be a goal that you strive to achieve on a daily basis. Invest in a few good cookbooks and check out your local farmer’s market. Next time something breaks or needs to be replaces, think about your choices carefully. Baby steps will get you to a sustainable kitchen eventually and that is all that really matters!
Ditch the disposables:
Kitchens are a huge source of the trash we create. Getting rid of disposable items is a great first step to creating a sustainable kitchen. Replace the paper towels with dish rags that can easily be thrown in the washing machine. Skip the paper napkins and use cloth. Stop using plastic wrap and invest in reusable storage containers, mason jars, or other reusable food storage solutions. Rethink everything you buy for your kitchen. Will it be thrown away? If so, look for a non disposable alternative.
Cut back on energy usage:
Kitchens are energy hogs and that energy usage is not helping us create a sustainable kitchen. When purchasing appliances, make sure you are buying ones that are Energy Star Certified for lower energy needs. Maintenance is vital to improve the energy efficiency of our kitchen appliances. Clean the filter on your refridgerator regularly. You should also consider replacing traditional incandescent bulbs in your light fixtures with energy efficient LEDS.
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Rethink your food choices:
The biggest change you should make in your home to create a sustainable kitchen is to rethink the food you buy. Ideally, food that is organic and locally sourced is the most sustainable. That isn’t always realistic, of course, but it is ideal. Just cooking from scratch will reduce your carbon footprint significantly. Real food usually comes with significantly less packaging than the processed foods so many Americans eat. Choose an apple rather than an apple flavored fruit snack and you will get healthier while you reduce your carbon footprint.
Stick with natural materials:
If you are considering kitchen remodeling or even just shopping for a few new kitchen gadgets, aim for natural materials rather than man made. Wood cutting boards, metal spoons, ceramic bowls and real glasses are more sustainable than items made with plastic. While plastic has it’s place occasionally, try to invest in natural materials for your sustainable kitchen.
Learn New Skills:
Educating ourselves is a great way to build a sustainable kitchen. Learn how to garden, build a compost bin, start making your own bread and yogurt, and just stop taking the easy way out because you don’t know any other way. You can also learn how to make your own kitchen cleaners, liquid soap, dish detergent and a number of other kitchen items that cost more to buy than they do to make (I highly recommend you learn how to melt bar soap pieces and remold it!) (I highly recommend you learn how to melt bar soap pieces and remold it!). check out my easy liquid soap DIY to get started!
Do you have any other tips for creating a sustainable kitchen?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.