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8 Ways to 'Green' Your Kitchen

Reduce the Waste to Protect the Planet

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  • We use cloth napkins. I bought a dozen about 2 years ago and they still have years worth of use left in them, we don't even have any paper napkins in the house. Some people don't like using them but when you make it clear that it's ok..these are for everyday use, they relax and get used to it..I fold them up in a basket similar to when I used paper napkins..we also try to use dish towels instead of paper towels..we haven't stopped buying them entirely but we have cut way back on using them...I realize that the napkins and towels still have to be washed and that uses water but I throw them in with the regular loads so it really doesn't dd too much ( Iif they are really dirty I wash them on their own using a small load.
  • AZURE-SKY
    There are a lot of great tips here, and I do what is feasible for my area of the country. I live in the Southwest, where water is a precious commodity.

    I haven't bought bottled water in years. The author mentions using a refillable bottle for water, which is great. Where I live, the water coming out of the tap is warm, even hot in the summer. So having a filter on the kitchen faucet doesn't work for me when I want a glass of water. I have a Brita water pitcher that I keep in my fridge. It has a filter in it & ensures that I always have cold water handy.

    Instead of buying bottled ice tea or other drinks, which means having to recycle the glass or plastic bottles, make your own, and keep it in the fridge. Then refill your own bottles.

    I only run the dishwasher when full, usually every other day. The same with the laundry - I only wash full loads, and in cold water.

    Another simple change for saving water is to take shorter showers. Turn on the shower, get wet, turn off the water while soaping up & shampooing, then turn the water back on to rinse off.
  • Enjoyed the article~Thanks!
  • If I only want to bake a couple of potatoes of something small, I will do it in my toaster oven instead of using power to heat and run my range oven. Little changes will add up to huge power savings.
  • Thanks for the new ideas I can add to the green activities I'm already doing!!
  • I do at least a little of most of these with composting being the least prominent in my household, although coffee grounds are almost always dried then spread throughout my yard. When we started recycling our plastic, paper, cardboard and cans, our kitchen trash can got to where it only has to be emptied a couple of times a week instead of every day. It's easy too because the county has a curbside program and you just have to put it at the street weekly.
  • RE2BAH
    Thanks for this article!

    This is something I am passionate about. One thing you did not mention is vermiculture. I started feeding most of my food waste to my worms! The result is that I have more wonderful worm casts to add to regular yard waste compost pile.

    This enriched compost helps my plants grow better without artificial fertilizers! Worm "tea " is a by product of this that feeds my house plants!

    This is the best thing I've ever invested a small sum in and reaped so many benefits!
  • We've added a large, pretty basket with a plastic insert to our kitchen for our recycling. It makes it easier to recycle when the bin is right there! I just dump it into the recycling cart when it gets full, or when it's the day for the recycling to be picked up. We have other baskets or pretty bins on each level of the house so that it's just as easy to put something that belongs in recycling in a recycling container as it would be to put it in with landfill waste.
  • PEWILK
    Local is not always the environmental choice! The entire life cycle of food must be considered, not just the distance from the farm. I highly recommend the book Just Food by James McWilliams for a full discussion of the environmental issues surrounding food production. Organic and local are just two options, and can be taken to extremes.
  • In the town I live in (guelph, ontario) garbage day is only once every two weeks, but every week they take compost and recycling. All three are in different colours of see-through bags and they won't take any of it if its mixed up. I've seen garbage bags not collected because they had too many food scraps that should have been composted. Its a VERY green town :)
  • NJZEIGLER
    This was very informative and I've already started going green with some things. The compost idea is something I'd like to try in our backyard.
  • Tips 3 and 4 are very contradictory. Most organic food from a store isn't local and vice versa.
  • very good information to get my kitchen green thank you
  • TLAUER1
    Thanks for the interesting and informative article
  • MANDYCOOT
    We have a vermicomposter in our apartment! It's wonderful, compact, low-maintenance, doesn't smell at all, and produces beautiful compost for gardening. Our start-up kit (worms, coconut bedding, bin with trays, and consultation included) cost about $200 but an aspiring DIYer could rig something cheaper with a little research. I love that as vegans we can compost pretty much everything we consume, and even certain paper products like the If You Care cupcake liners. Our composter stays inside in the cold months and the very hot months, and goes outside during more temperate times.

    The article didn't mention this tip for greening your kitchen, but the most effective thing you can do to be eco-friendly in the kitchen is to go vegan!

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