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8 Ways to 'Green' Your Kitchen

Reduce the Waste to Protect the Planet

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  • 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!
  • I knew several people in college who did worm composting in their dorm rooms. I thought it was the coolest thing, and much less wasteful than just throwing out scraps. I didn't do it myself because I mainly ate in the cafeteria instead of cooking for myself, but it just goes to show you that regardless of your living or financial situation, there is a way to be more "green."
  • MIZMARPLE
    I once attended a program given by a local pecan grower. They had just become certified "organic." One of the critera was that they did not use chemical pesticides or herbicides for the past 3 years. But the company had been in business for over 50 years, and many of the original trees are still producing pecans. So the chemicals that were in use before certification are in the soil & in trees. I don't know the lifespan of the chemicals, but it stands to reason that there is still some chemical residue.

    I'd be leery of buying the bulk items. I've seen people stick their hands in the bins instead of using the scoops, and I've also seen kids poking around in them (I've reported them to the manager). Also, I'd be concerned about bugs because the bins aren't airtight - they just have flip-top lids. I'll keep buying my oatmeal at Costco in the 9 pound package.

    I haven't bought bottled water in years - I keep a Brita pitcher in the fridge at all times & use a refillable bottle when I go out.

    Other ways to be green:
    - I wash clothes in cold water;.
    - I changed my newspaper subscription to weekend only. I read the news online during the week. This also saves time & money since I don't see all those ads.
    - I shop online when I can. Instead of my driving to the mall, UPS or the USPS delivers my items.
    - I bank online, saves gas, time, and postage.
    - I use the library instead of purchasing books; I rarely read a book twice, so why buy it?
    - I use my crockpot often. It uses about as much electricity as a lightbulb.
    - I cook in bulk, freeze leftovers for future meals. ex - it takes the same amount of energy to bake 2 pans of lasagna as one.
    - I installed ceiling fans in all the rooms in my house. I can keep my thermostat set a a higher temp, because the house feels cooler with the breeze from the fans.
    - I installed light-blocking blinds & drapes. They keep the house cooler in summer & keep out the cold air in the winter, reducing my need for a/c & heat.

    Little changes add up.
  • We have a local farm. The products at the farm stand and at the local store are higher than the trucked at the local Wal Mart. I use them to support the local business but they are not cost effective.
  • Unbelievable that one carrot could last a decade in a land fill...so going to figure out how to compost - crazy.
  • Interesting discussion on transportation. I've been reading a lot of information about the use of the word 'organic' and how it doesn't have many standards. It is good to question things around us as heresay travels fast.

    I guess overall, it would be best if we could grow our own garden and eat it fresh everyday!
  • hmmm - in the uk we already have 6 different recycling bins in some areas for the household as well as the normal bin.

    I do use them - you get a fine if you don't

    I also have a system that uses dirty water from the kitchen sink - recycles it and flushes the loo with it.
  • Nice article. I've switched to using a reusable sandwich container and reusable lunch bag (which keeps the food cooler as well). Also, I've been using straight vinegar as my cleaner for kitchen counters, the stove top, refrigerator, etc. Vinegar works so well. I buy a large container and fill a reusable spray bottle. Not only is vinegar cheaper, it can also be used without worries of getting chemicals in or near your food.
  • I will for sure start buying my bulk food at the Bulk Barn and bring my own containers with me.. that is a great idea.. I even started to carry cloth grocery bags.. I do alot of recylng . I only have to put one geen garbage bag a month out at the curb
  • Coach Nicole--it is sometimes true. I just read The Omnivore's Dilemma a few months ago, and Michael Pollan specifically addressed this conundrum. Depending on how how much energy the local farmer uses producing and transporting the food to market, it may actually be "greener" to purchase an apple from say, the Netherlands, if they used greener methods to produce, package and transport it. I also heard an NPR interview a while back discussing the same issue (although I don't remember offhand who the guests were). It often is greener to buy local, but it is not automatically greener.
  • COACH_NICOLE
    CONNECTED1- I find that hard to believe--I wonder about the source of that information. Most food travels over 1,000 miles from farm to table in America, while local food produced by farmers in your area usually makes a trip less than 100 miles. Also, if you're "going out of your way" to visit a farmer's market, you might consider another alternative, such as browsing the produce in a closer grocery store that is labeled "local."
  • I just read yesterday that the benefits on "buy local" have not been proven. Having 5-6 farmers drive their trucks to a market, and having you drive out of your way to get to the market, may actually use more gas than having one large vehicle truck it into your local store. There are other benefits to consider, like supporting the local farmers and fresher produce, but in terms of fuel efficiency you may not be making the difference you thought you were.

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