Simple Steps to an Eco-Friendly Kitchen
The spectrum of eco-conscious decisions you can make in your kitchen run from recycling your boxes and bottles to undertaking a full-blown energy-efficient renovation. Short of remodeling, there are simple things you can do every day that will decrease the carbon footprint of the heart of your home.
When you’re at the market, you don’t need to limit your environmentally conscious choices to organic and locally sourced foodstuffs. Buying bulk goods reduces the packaging you consume:
- For foods like apple sauce or yogurt, make your own “single servings” with re-usable containers.
- For dry goods like cereal, flour, sugar, etc., use friendly sized jars and containers that you can refill when your supply gets low.
If you’re still drinking bottled water, consider installing a faucet mounted water filter.
What you cook with, eat on and drink from can also be made more eco-friendly. One of the least glamorous and yet most effective ways to be environmentally conscious is simply not to consume new products. There are two ways to go about that: 1) buy used items or 2) ensure that the new items you do purchase are made to last a long time.
Consider the longevity of your cookware. Non-stick pans not only have a limited lifespan, they are also bad for the environment and your health. In an article on SeattlePI.com, a senior scientist at EWG notes that “most nonstick cookware contains a fluorochemical called PTFE that breaks down to form toxic fumes when overheated. Those fumes can coat the inside of the lungs and cause allergy-like symptoms.” Look for cast iron or stainless steel cookware that will simply get better with age.