One of the places you can really push your sustainability journey to the maximum so that you can lower your carbon footprint is in the kitchen. Food waste, package waste, and the energy used to feed yourself and your family can add up. These eleven sustainability tips for the kitchen will help.
- Start Composting – One of the first things you can do in your kitchen to help cut down on your waste is to compost anything you use that can be composted. You can set up composting right in your kitchen. If you live in an apartment, you can still do it. Some areas have drop-off places where you can drop off your compostable materials too.
- Reduce Food Waste – Try to pay more attention to fixing serving sizes for your family to avoid food waste. The average family wastes about 30 percent of the food that they purchase. While most food does compost, most of it comes in packaging that is not that friendly or compostable.
- Replace Bulbs – As your old incandescent bulbs burn out, replace them with LED bulbs. Don’t worry; you can find attractive bulbs that have all levels of brightness today. They use less than half the energy and last a long time.
- Put Lighting in the Right Places – When you set up lighting in your kitchen, you’ll want to think about the tasks that you do in the different areas and the brightness of the light you need. Put task lighting where it’s needed because you don’t have to light up everything.
- Buy Only Energy Star Appliances – When you do need new appliances, always find Energy Star appliances. Today, there are even used options that are Energy Star, so it’s not going to be hard to find.
- Consider the Packaging You Use – When you buy anything, always think about the container it’s in. Many plastic containers such as those that have dishwashing detergent and laundry detergent that are fancy colors are not recyclable at all.
- Don’t Be Afraid of Your Dishwasher – Most newer dishwashers use far less water per load than you will if you wash dishes by hand. If you’re not sure, test it out by using a basin to measure how much you use compared to what the manual says the dishwasher uses.
- Decorate with Low VOC Paint Only – When you do paint, use only low VOC paint to avoid contaminating the environment.
- Use Natural Cleaning Products – One area you can really improve is the type of cleaning products you use in your kitchen. Avoid chemicals and try to use natural solutions like vinegar and baking soda.
- Use Reusable Grocery Bags – Stop getting new bags, especially plastic ones, from the grocery store. Instead, use reusable bags for your groceries. If you do end up with plastic bags, try to keep them and reuse them in your home or for shopping so they don’t wind up in the landfill.
- Stop Using Paper Towels – Instead of using so many paper towels, buy a lot of reusable towels that you can use for drying your hands, dishes, cleaning up, and so forth. Just wash them when dirty and reuse.
Being more sustainable in the kitchen is one of the simplest ways to help reduce your carbon footprint. If you want to be more sustainable, you just need to cut down on waste and excess energy use.