Green up in the Kitchen and Reduce Your Impact on the Environment
A lot of folks are choosing to live a greener, healthier, low-impact lifestyle and a good place to start is in the kitchen, which happens to be one of the biggest energy and resource guzzlers in our home.
From our appliances that use electricity and natural gas, the water we use in our dish washer and sink, our refrigerator full of with foods that are not locally-grown to the packaging of the foods we buy that are non-recyclable, there’s a lot of room for improvement in the way we live and the choices we make that impact our environment.
Eight Ways to Green up in the Kitchen
1. Reuse, recycle, reduce – Reduce your personal consumption by reusing what you already have and recycling what you can’t use. More than 50% of what most people throw out in their kitchen trash is either recyclable or reusable.
When going to the grocery store bring your own reusable grocery bags with you instead of bringing home a mountain of plastic bags. Refill or recycle all those empty plastic water bottles. Instead of throwing out perfectly good plastic storage bags and to-go containers after only one use, try rinsing them out to use again.
2. Eat organic, locally-grown foods – Eating fresh, organic and locally-grown food is healthier, keeps chemicals from running off into our oceans and rivers from non-organic farms and also reduces the amount of carbon dioxide released in the process of transporting non-local foods.
Here’s a list of some of the best farmers markets in Charlotte, NC where you can get delicious, fresh, organic, locally-grown foods.
- Charlotte Regional Farmers Market
- Charlotte Tailgate Farmers Market
- Matthews Community Farmers Market
- Huntersville Farmers Market
- The Neighborhood Farmers’ Market
- Meeting Street Market
3. Compost – Instead of throwing out those coffee grounds, eggshells and banana peels why not make your own rich potting soil and save landfill space by composting. Visit the Garden of Oz to learn more about composting. You can also find a variety of space-saving kitchen composters that are simple to use and odor-free at NexTag (comparison shopping site with product reviews).
4. Green up when you clean up – Choose natural, environmentally friendly cleaning products instead of standard products that are noxious and full of industrial compounds, pollutants and harmful chemicals. Environmentally Friendly Cleaning 101 and How to Buy Green Cleaning Supplies provide helpful tips on how to keep it clean ‘au naturale.’
5. Choose appliances with ‘star’ quality – Energy saving Energy Star rated appliances can reduce power and water usage by as much as 50% compared to standard, non-Energy Star rated appliances. Visit Energy Star’s website for a list of energy Star rated products and appliances.
6. Unplug kitchen appliances - Conserve Energy by unplugging appliances when not being used. Even in sleep mode, items like coffee makers, toasters, food processors, confection ovens, etc. continue to suck energy when plugged directly into a wall outlet. With the use of power strips, you can turn everything off you are not using with one flip of a switch.
7. Use the dishwasher – It actually takes less water to wash dishes in the dishwasher than it does to wash them by hand, so go ahead and throw your pots and pans in there too. You also want to fill your dishwasher to full capacity before you run it because it takes the same amount of energy to run half a load as it does to run a full one.
8. Choose energy-efficient Lighting – Compact fluorescent (CF) lights last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs and use 1/4 the amount of energy. Each high-use bulb you replace in the kitchen with a CF bulb will save up to $10 and 100 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
Living a green, low- impact lifestyle at home can start in our kitchen. It’s all about making smarter choices in the way we live!
Charlotte NC Real Estate - EcoBroker Certified® Professional
Leigh Brown is a North Carolina Realtor®, EcoBroker Certified® Professional and leader in the Charlotte market. Over the years, Leigh has helped many clients buy homes in Charlotte, NC that are energy-efficient and environmentally sensitive in design.
Leigh can also help market your existing Charlotte, NC home for sale with energy-efficient, “green” features. You can reach Leigh by filling out the online contact form or give her a call at (704) 688-5005, or toll free (866) 440-7136.
Leigh knows Charlotte. Let her do the work for you!