How Green Is Your Kitchen?

There are many reasons that many of you may wish to make your lifestyles more “green”. Your motivation may differ from saving money due to higher gas and food prices to joining the global effort to preserve our natural environment. Buying organic or locally grown products can help and luckily, food prices for organic vs regular are starting to even out, especially when buying produce that is in season.

Use this link to find locally grown produce in your area by entering your zip code and see this post on buying organic. Recycling is also important as well as cutting back on usage of disposable products. For example, forget the plastic water bottle and drink out of a glass or other eco-friendly water bottles. Eat on regular dinner plates rather than paper or plastic and take reusable bags to the grocery store.

Here are a few easy tips on how to make your kitchen, and food preparation, more environmentally friendly.
  • Cook in large volumes if possible. For example, make a big pot of soup during the weekend to eat during the week and/or freeze it.
  • Start cooking with hot, rather than cold, water.
  • Rearrange oven shelves before turning on the oven and don’t peek at the food while it is cooking.
  • Do not pre-heat the oven longer than necessary.
  • Use a microwave if possible since it will draw less power and cook the food quicker.
  • Thaw food in the refrigerator rather than under running water.
  • Cool hot foods before putting them in the refrigerator.
  • Fill dishwasher to capacity before starting.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs and open window shades or blinds for natural light.
  • Un-plug appliances when not in use.
  • Repair leaking faucets.
  • Purchase durable, reusable products or eco-friendly disposable products.
  • Buy in bulk when possible.
  • Select products that use less packaging.
  • Separate glass, metal and paper waste for recycling.
  • Use pulpers or compactors when possible.
  • Eat less meat. Remember my guideline of less than 5 oz of meat per day and look for other protein sources such as beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, soy products and whole grains.
  • Plant a garden in your yard or just use small pots.
  • Purchase eco-friendly cleaning products.
  • Use rags rather than paper towels.
What are some things you do? I would love to hear suggestions!
Emily Fonnesbeck RD,CD