Nutrition Articles

8 Ways to 'Green' Your Kitchen

Reduce the Waste to Protect the Planet


BONUS: You'll save tons of money by saying no to bottled water and save trips to the grocery store to get it.

7. Mind your appliances. Look for the Energy Star label when buying new appliances, which means that the appliance has met the quality and energy-efficiency guidelines of both the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. And make sure you use your appliances correctly. Monitor the temperature in your fridge (it shouldn't be so cold that it freezes your milk), only run your dishwasher if it’s completely full (otherwise you’ll waste water and energy), and try to multitask your oven (if you’re firing it up to cook the dinner casserole, throw in a few potatoes too, and you’ll have lunch for tomorrow).

BONUS: Boosting the energy-efficiency of your appliances also keeps money in your wallet by reducing your utility usage.

8. Don’t pre-rinse. If you have a newer model dishwasher equipped with a built-in garbage disposal unit, rinsing your dishes is probably an unnecessary, and wasteful, step. Read the instructions and experiment with a few loads to see how much your machine can handle.

BONUS: Skipping the pre-rinse not only saves water, but it also saves you time and energy!

Here's to a greener kitchen and a healthier planet!
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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
    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
    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):
    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
    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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