Nutrition Articles

8 Ways to 'Green' Your Kitchen

Reduce the Waste to Protect the Planet

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BONUS: Kitchens generate a lot of waste, but when you compost, you can significantly reduce the amount of trash in your kitchen and at your curb. But make sure you do it properly, as certain foods should not be composted.

3. Buy organic. Choosing organically grown foods, which aren’t treated with chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers, when you have the option helps to reduce the pesticide burden on the earth. Read more about the reasons to choose organic food here, and then learn how to buy organic on a budget.

BONUS: Organic foods are usually richer in nutrients too—they do a body good.

4. Eat locally. Besides tasting fresher, locally-grown food is more ecologically sustainable. It benefits farmers and the local economy, as the profits from what is grown near you stay in your community. Check out your local farmer’s market for the best just-picked fruits and vegetables of the season, and select produce that was grown using organic methods to compound the eco-benefits. Buy large quantities and freeze, can, or dry them to enjoy locally-grown food all winter long. Or start your own organic backyard garden—the ultimate in local food.

BONUS: When you buy food that's been shipped across the globe, you have to "eat" those transportation costs when you buy. Local food is also seasonal, which means it tastes better and is also more affordable.

5. Use greener cleaners. Chlorine-free automatic dishwashing powder, petroleum-free soap, and non-toxic floor cleaner are all easy to find in most grocery stores. These products work just as well as their conventional competition, but leave behind less toxic residue for our bodies and the environment to process. You can also make your own cleaners with common household items like baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, borax, and washing soda.

BONUS: "Green" cleaners are usually better for people who have chemical sensitivities. Besides being better for the planet, they're healthier for everyone in your household.

6. Drink filtered, not bottled. If you’re buying bottled water, consider this fact: In the state of California alone, nearly three million used plastic water bottles wind up in the landfill every day. Although you might recycle yours, keep in mind that it takes energy and resources to manufacture and transport these bottles—and to recycle them too. A better option is to buy a water filter that attaches to your kitchen faucet, and fill reusable bottles at the tap.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • I use well water. I drink that. It's great. - 12/21/2013 6:14:59 PM
  • I've had too many things living in or flying out of containers of food I've purchased in the bulk bins (even at the $$$ stores). I'll pay the extra and get the package. - 7/20/2012 2:41:27 PM
  • CaroleCox - you can always reuse the bags. I keep clean bags in a zip lock bag to reuse for bulk items. When they finally wear out I recycle them, but not before. It's interesting to see how long some of them last! - 7/20/2012 2:08:12 PM
  • Gnuattitude, I understand your concerns regarding things you would eat raw, like nuts, but things you are going to cook, like oats and pasta, wouldn't be a problem. Any germs transferred would be eliminated. So don't let that deter you! - 7/20/2012 9:07:13 AM
  • I wonder how unsanitary the scoops in bulk food are. No thanks. - 6/19/2012 8:25:20 AM
  • MARIACRISTINA7
    Hi, this is for Panadot. You can easily figure out how much water used by rinsing from the faucet instead of filling the sink. Plug the sink and then rinse from the faucet. You can see how much water fills the sink as you rinse. We often travel in a motorhome and saving water is an issue for us. I use a bowl or pan in the rinse side and fill it as i'm rinsing & then use it to rinse the rest of the dishes. We are able to conserve water pretty painlessly. - 6/8/2012 1:10:38 PM
  • DEYNAS
    This was an interesting perspective on eating locally that I came across last week, suggesting that economically and environmentally it may be more or less a wash (although there are still other good reasons): http://www.market
    place.org/top
    ics/life/eati
    ng-locally-no
    t-necessarily-better - 5/7/2012 10:21:49 PM
  • I do use a faucet-mount water filter and reusable water bottles and I do love to go the local farmer's markets when I can. A lot of "eco-friendly" ideas are not exactly "pocket-friendly" and if I have to make a choice, I have to go with my pocket! - 4/29/2012 7:19:30 PM
  • Actually, Elliminty is not exactly correct. I used to think the same way until I took two Environmental Science classes. The reason to buy organic is not to get "more nutrients" but to save our planet. The nitrates and other stuff that is fertilized in our ground is messing up the ecosystem. Some chemicals (allowed in Mexico) like DDT, are harmful to humans. These chemicals end up in the plant and we eat them. If we don't stop polluting our planet, we may not recognize our planet in less than 60 years!

    So while the nutrients remain the same, there are much more important reasons to buy organic. - 4/29/2012 6:14:06 PM
  • I bought a filtered water bottle and use it every day. I plan to buy a filter for the faucet. We still use bottled water because it is easier to pack in a lunch box - 9/22/2011 3:25:14 PM
  • Also, I wish they would have included information for those of us who don't own a dishwasher - are there ways to conserve water when I'm washing a sink full of dishes? I usually fill up the sink with sudsy water, and the other basin with rinse water, instead of running it constantly, but I'm not really sure which is better. - 6/1/2011 11:28:11 AM
  • I'd like to add to this:

    #9: Ditch the paper towels and paper napkins! We started purchasing cloth napkins a few years ago (both "everyday" and "fancy") at thrift stores and when they were on sale at Target, etc. Plus, we started cutting up old towels and buying cheap rags to use for cleaning. We rarely ever have to buy paper towel anymore - maybe a 12-pack once every two years? Plus, the rags work so much better for cleaning, and all of it can just be thrown in the wash! - 6/1/2011 11:18:41 AM
  • We got a bench top water filter in December.
    We have stainless steel water bottles.
    The water is always refreshing.
    I have water at hand & it's easy to stay hydrated. - 4/17/2011 11:30:10 AM
  • ELLIMINTY
    Point of order:
    Buying organic can make you feel good, but as for the food being more nutrient-rich, it's a myth. No studies have proven that there are more nutrients in organically-grown foods: in fact, they're about the same as any other less-processed food (excluding tomatoes, which should be cooked to get the most out of them, nutrient-wise).

    Also, organic farmers do use pesticides and herbicides as well as fertillizers: they just use "natural" chemicals, rather than synthetics. If you check what it takes for a farm to be certified organic, you'll see what I mean.

    I'm not saying that Organic is bad. All I'm saying is that Organic as better is a bit of a myth that should be researched before it's promoted by folks whom everyday folks like us trust as experts! If buying Organic makes you feel good, or you feel it tastes better, go for it! But don't spend extra money you might not have buying organic when you could be heading out to a local farmer's market! Their food might not be certified organic, but I garuntee you it will taste fantastic! - 3/29/2011 9:52:17 AM
  • We have two natural food stores in town. One has the barrels, but there is no way to bring your own containers. In the end, I'm stuck with those plastic bags to get rid of anyway. - 3/28/2011 4:30:38 PM

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