Monday, October 12, 2009

Seven Green Tips for the Kitchen

Let's think about our kitchens for a moment. They use a lot of energy ... refrigerators, stoves/ovens, counter-top appliances, etc. They are gathering places, often doubling as a recreation area (think of playing board games at the kitchen table), an office (where kids do homework, adults pay bills and often the location of a computer), and sometimes a comfortable spot to entertain guests. So, what better place to focus our "green" efforts? Here are some ideas to get started:

  1. If you use a dishwasher (other than your spouse or kids), run it at off-peak hours ... for example, at midnight. Power plants generate electricity more efficiently during off-peak hours. And here's a bonus ... they usually sell it for less so ... you'll save money as well as energy.

  2. When thawing frozen foods, consider thawing in the refrigerator rather than using a microwave or letting the item sit on a counter. It takes a bit longer but you'll save energy, both by not using an appliance and by using the item to keep the refrigerator contents cool.

  3. Thinking of buying a cutting board? Consider bamboo. Not only is it a sustainable material, it is strong, hard and resists bacteria better than wood.

  4. Rather than use ice to fill a cooler or "shock" vegetables (stop them from cooking after they've been removed from the stove), try using a freezer pack. It's reusable and you'll save water.

  5. Collect rinse water and give it to your plants. Or, leave it in the sink and use it, instead of the faucet, to wash hands.

  6. Want some fried food tonight? Consider stir frying ... since stir fried foods are typically cut into bite-sized pieces and cooked at high temperatures, they cook fast which means they use minimal energy. Here's a bonus ... stir frying uses less oil than traditional deep frying so it's also a healthier alternative.

  7. If the kitchen doubles as a computer room, remember to place the computer and any desktop lamps, etc. on a power strip ... and then, turn them off when not in use.

There are many ways to "green" a kitchen ... these seven ideas are good places to start.

As always ... I would love to hear from you!


  1. Great ideas. Thanks for posting the list--I'm always looking for new ways to add a little green into our daily living.

  2. When canning this summer, I had no idea how much water it takes to can items!

    I used that water to water my plants and animals once it had cooled off.

    I also use a glass cutting board. it is more sanitary than wood and i can throw it in the dishwasher when I am done.

    Another thing I do is save my glass pickle, jelly, or mayo jars. When the hubs wants to carry a drink with him, he uses these instead of my glasses. If they break, or he leaves them on a job, I am not out of a glass. Problem is, that seems to be what everyone wants to drink out of now!

  3. Thanks for the suggestions... I'm always thinking of ways to "green" up my kitchen. One thing people should do -- stop using the garbage disposal. Waste of electricity and water. Compost instead (if it's possible).


    Here's mine, Use a thermal flask instead of putting the jug on every time you need hot water.

  5. The ice pack for shocking vegetables one is wonderful! I've been doing so much canning the last few weeks, I never even thought of that!

    Thumbs up! That is a wonderful suggestion!

  6. Thank you for sharing your ideas.
    Love adding some green to my house.

  7. Fab suggestions; one of my favourites is to use residual heat to cook things.

    I bring a saucepan of food to the boil (say potatoes for mashed potatoes or pasta) with a well fitting lid on and turn off the heat.

    The food then cooks with the residual heat in the pan. i have an electric hob, so not sure this would work with gas.

    Also, a steamer or crockpot is great - you can cook an entire meal with a small use of fuel.

    Ann, I like your flask use; that's definitely something I could do!

    Thanks for the inspiration, Small footprints!

  8. You can make homemade freezer packs easily. While it's a good idea to avoid plastic bottles of water or sweetened water, well, if you have one, don't throw it out. Fill it not-quite-full with tap water and put in your freezer (leave room for the ice to expand a little). Your homemade freezer pack can not only keep picnic coolers cool ... as a PLUS, as the ice melts, you can drink the water.

  9. I came in from Angela REgada, glad to stumble in.

  10. Thanks, you have given me more good ideas.