The kitchen is one of the most active rooms in any home, both in terms of time spent inside of it and the amount of energy that is required to operate it. A kitchen for a family of four typically represents anywhere between 20 and 40 percent of its annual household energy consumption, which means that any steps taken to reduce energy use in the kitchen can have a lasting impact. Below are three quick steps to making any kitchen a bit more eco-friendly.
Step 1: Start with the Refrigerator
As a refrigerator’s job is keeping its contents cold, it will have to do additional work – and therefore consume more energy – when it is loaded with material. Regularly cleaning all of the old leftovers, stale items and containers of liquid out of a fridge will reduce the amount of power required to keep everything chilled. The same goes for a freezer; if there’s anything out of date or freezer-burned sitting in there, toss it out!
Step 2: Upgrade those Old Appliances
While it might seem better for the environment to avoid replacing an older dishwasher, stove or refrigerator, older models can actually be quite energy-inefficient and may be worth replacing. At minimum it’s recommended to have Energy Star compliant appliances, which have to meet strict energy consumption standards to receive certification. When an older appliance breaks down, consider whether or not it might save energy and money over the long term to replace it or if it’s best to have a repairman fix it up.
Step 3: There’s Gold in the Garbage
Another easy step a family can take to reduce a kitchen’s eco-footprint is to reduce the amount of garbage produced. A family can produce more than a ton of kitchen garbage in a year, and much of it is compostable food waste that could have gone to better use. Those with no yard space for an outdoor compost pile can opt for an indoor compost bin which will keep smells to a minimum. The resulting compost can be used for gardening, for use as topsoil or given away.
These are just a few of the ways that one can tackle making their kitchen a bit friendlier to the environment while saving a bit of cash each year. At the end of the day, reducing consumption is the best way to keep costs and eco-footprints to a minimum; with a bit of ingenuity and hard work, many items can be foregone and
Ryan writes for Ethosource, a company dedicated to refurbishing used office furniture.