9 Ways to Green Your Kitchen

Reader Contribution by Aby League
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Green living is back in style. In fact, environmental awareness and concern has become so heightened that more and more people are joining in on the green revolution by leading a greener lifestyle. Some incorporate eco-friendly products into their lives, such as natural cleaners, while others have started to practice better living habits, for example, turning off lights in an empty room. With various ways to easily achieve a greener lifestyle, you, too, can go green from the comfort of your own home. Today, let’s take a look at one part of your home that should never be missed—your kitchen.

Photo courtesy HisPotion Magazine, via Pinterest

1. Clean Well and Greenify

For a spic and span kitchen, stop using toxic cleaners. Instead, make the switch to natural cleaning alternatives. Although there are many commercial, store-bought cleaners we trust, it’s super cost-effective to make your own homemade, all-natural cleaners. For example, baking soda can be used in many household cleaning recipes thanks to its natural ability to deodorize and polish surfaces. Lemon is another great cleaning ingredient that can be mixed into dishwashing liquid to boost its degreasing abilities. These ingredients will cost you next to nothing, and are likely already available in your kitchen pantry.

2. Choose Wisely: Gas Or Electric?

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Choosing a stove can be tough. Likely torn between gas and electric, find a stove that best fits in with your budget and lifestyle, and choose whatever you can sustain for at least 10 years to save on materials and resources.

If you opt for an electric stove, be sure the model is energy-efficient by finding out whether it uses induction elements. These consume only half the energy of standard coil elements by transferring the electromagnetic energy to the pan; the cooktop also becomes relatively cool. On the other hand, if you choose to buy a gas stove, keep in mind that the lower BTU (British Thermal Unit) output it has, the higher the energy-efficiency of your stove will be.

3. Go Bulk

Photo courtesy One Good Thing by Jillee

Studies show that two-thirds of the total packaging wastes by volume is attributed to food packaging. To achieve that green kitchen you want, and avoid contributing additional wastes, be sure to purchase items in bulk. This will ensure less packaging and fewer trips to the store, and will also save you money. An important tip in buying in bulk: Make sure that you consume all that you’ve bought, or else it will be an added waste. You can also get discounts by using coupons when buying in bulk.

4. Store Good Foods

Make sure the food present in your kitchen is healthful and organic so you’ll be more inspired to commit to a healthful diet. Cut back on red meat by minimizing its supply during meals; just have one chopped steak for dinner. You can also eliminate meat from your diet completely and look into the benefits of becoming a vegetarian (or frequent vegetarian).

5. The Greener Way to Wash Dishes

When washing dishes by hand, save on water by having one part of your sink filled with soapy water and the other part filled with rinse water, rather than keeping the faucet constantly running. Also avoid running your dishwasher every night. Finally, test the economy feature of your dishwasher; it’s programmed to save water and energy.

6. Cookware That Lasts Matter

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Investing in good cooking utensils and cookware can also contribute to a green and healthy kitchen. Some products may be a bit pricey, but having sets that will stand the test time will save money in the long run. It will also allow you to avoid instances where you throw the container together with the leftover food.

7. Plants Add a Touch Of Green

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Your kitchen can act as an extension of your garden. Plant small plants or herbs in old tin cans, and grow them in your kitchen windowsill. Not only will this lend you a better view while washing dishes, you can directly harvest the herbs for meals.

8. Opt for Kitchen Cloth Towels

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Every day, more than 3,000 tons of paper towel waste is being produced by Americans, according to People Towels. In order to help, opt for kitchen cloth towels instead. After using this product, you can wash them to reuse. This will also save you money on constantly restocking paper towels. Just remember, if your cloth towels no longer smell good, it’s time to replace them.

9. Reduce Waste with a Menu Plan

Stop wasting money on food that’s destined for the trashcan by forming a menu plan. Come up with a detailed and interesting weekly plan to help you avoid eating out too much. Or if you do eat out, remember to account for leftovers that can still be enjoyed to avoid throwing away wasted food.

Aby League is a medical practitioner and an 
Elite Daily writer. She also writes about business and other topics of great interest. Follow her @abyleague and circle her on Google+.