Going eco-friendly in your kitchen doesn’t mean gutting the whole thing and starting from scratch with only sustainable resources. There are lots of little changes that you can make to your current kitchen that will help you embrace the eco ethos of less waste, chemicals and energy being used.
Here are five simple steps you can take to get started saving the planet:
Do a chemical cull
Have a look at your cleaning cupboard – are you actually smearing chemicals around your house rather than truly cleaning away the dirt and grime? Green cleaning expert Bridget Gardner, author of Fresh Green Clean, says warm soapy water is all that is needed to leave a surface clean and germ-free – even in child care centres. Most of us think sweet-smelling bubbles and goop make a surface clean, but it ain’t necessarily so. If you can’t bear to get rid of your pump packs full of chemicals, switch to low-harm cleaning products.
Check out the fridge
Buy in-season and locally grown produce rather than food which have been flown in from far-flung countries. The most earth-friendly diet is to become a vegetarian, but if this seems like a step too far you could aim to reduce the number of meat based meals in the week,
Waste = food
Turn all those vegetable peelings, eggshells and rotting fruit into garden fertilizer by adopting either a worm farm, compost bin or a Bokashi bin which will transform food waste into garden fertilizer. It also keeps rotting biowaste out of landfill – another handy bonus for the planet.
As Indian guru Ghandi once said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not any man’s greed.” So try not to buy more food than your family will eat – and make the most of any waste by eating leftovers and composting scraps.
The plastic wraps, furniture, knives and crockery we use every day in our kitchen all requires planetary resources to make. Naturally-finished timbers for kitchen cabinetry rather than laminates are a better choice as are alternatives to petroleum-based plastics.
Energy-wise makes cents
Our kitchen refrigerator is on 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making it one of the household’s largest energy guzzlers after hot water and heating. Next time your fridge is on the blink, replace it with an energy-efficient fridge with a four-star rating or higher. It will not only save money on your electricity bill (which are all due to keep increasing, thanks to an emissions trading scheme and price hikes from energy companies) but reduce your household greenhouse emissions.