If you’re making an effort to cook more and bring your family together over the dinner table, you are probably spending a lot more time in the kitchen. You are likely noticing all the ways in which we, as a society, waste food, water, and energy. Not only does it affect your ability to save more money and live more sustainably, the amount of waste your kitchen produces has an impact on the environment. When it’s time to make your kitchen more eco-friendly and efficient, think about these five ways to make it more sustainable.
Invest in Smart Appliances
One great way to make your kitchen more sustainable is to look into smart appliances. Smart appliances can help you save money on your electric bills by cutting back on the amount of water and energy you are wasting. Smart dishwashers use less water. Smart refrigerators are often environmentally-friendly, cutting down on power while providing a way for your family to save on groceries by using all of what you buy and making a list of what you need when you are going to the store. Smart appliances are an investment, but one that will pay off over time for achieving a sustainable kitchen.
Waste Less Food
Food waste is out of control in the United States. It is completely inexcusable. Whether you are buying too many ingredients for the week or allowing snacks to go stale, using all the food that you buy will make a huge difference to your bottom line and carbon footprint. First, buy ingredients that can be used for multiple meals. Plan out what you will eat for dinner each day of the week and purchase vegetables and protein based on what you can use for multiple meals. You should also cut down on the size of items you buy. Do you really need a whole gallon of milk or will a quart suffice? Buy less meat and use it over multiple meals. When it comes to food waste, you don’t need to give into it. You can use everything that you buy if you pay attention to what you need to use and when you need to use it.
Go Bamboo for a Sustainable Kitchen
We all have those days when your kid’s friends are over or you’re having an afternoon party. You don’t want to wash all the dishes so you buy paper plates and plastic cutlery. You don’t have to go this route. There are plenty of bamboo products that provide eco-friendly alternatives to paper and plastic products. Bamboo plates are more durable than paper ones, even providing more than one use. Bamboo cutlery is the same way. You won’t have to throw the spoons and forks away after the first use. Careful washing will enable you to use bamboo products more than once. There are even bamboo paper towels and products outside of the kitchen, like a bamboo brush for example. Whatever the paper or plastic product, there is likely a bamboo alternative you can take advantage of.
Use Natural Soaps & Sponges
In the kitchen you need soaps and sponges to clean off dishes, even if you’re using a smart dishwasher to wash them. Instead of going for soaps that are full of chemicals, look for natural and organic alternatives that aren’t just better for the environment—they’re better for your skin. Furthermore, a konjac sponge is a great option when you want to skip the typical sponges that are available to you. Made from the konjac plant root, it is very soft but cleanses well without additives, preservatives, or color dyes.
Even after you commit to purchasing bamboo alternatives to plastic products, some will still sneak through the cracks. You should try your best to store food in containers that aren’t plastic. Keeping the leftovers in the pot, putting the lid on it, and putting it in the fridge is a better way to store food than plastic because of the harm it does to the environment. While it’s difficult to avoid, try not to use plastic whenever you can.
Whether you’re very environmentally conscious or just want to start making the effort, the kitchen is a great place to begin living more sustainably. Between the amount of food we waste, the water and energy we use, and the plastics we buy, the kitchen has a lot of room for improvement. Start with these simple ways and think outside the box for more methods to make a sustainable kitchen.