As eco-conscious habits become more and more part of our collective culture, many people are taking to making their own homes more environmentally friendly. One of the best places to start the eco-journey is in the kitchen.
One of the biggest ways you can change the eco-friendliness of your kitchen is by being more aware of what you bring into it on a weekly basis in the form of groceries. Most North Americans buy a lot of pre-made, overly packaged foods every week; the majority of product packaging ends up dumped in landfills after each garbage day.
One of the best things that you can do for yourself and for the environment is to buy food that’s as close to its natural state as you can. This isn’t to say that you should buy raw wheat grains and grind them yourself, but you should buy uncooked, unseasoned meats and raw fruits and vegetables and cook them yourself. Not only will there be less in the way of packaging, but there will be less salt and preservatives going into YOU. Make sure to compost your uncooked, non-meat food scraps as well!
What you use to carry your groceries home makes an impact as well. Many grocery stores across the continent are not offering plastic bags to patrons any longer, instead actively encouraging them to purchase inexpensive reusable bags, bring recycled bags, or offering a biodegradable alternative. If you like a higher quality of reusable bag, check out your local shops or look online; some companies even offer a reusable produce bag for your fruits and veggies.
Another great way to green up your kitchen is by buying only really good quality cooking tools that will last a long time. A few good quality stainless steel pots and pans, a good cast iron frying pan, and some sturdy wooden utensils can last you a lifetime if you take care of them. Avoid Teflon coated pans as they have a limited life-time and there are some health concerns over the use of Teflon. Quality, energy-efficient appliances will help make your kitchen more eco-friendly as well.
The finishing touch on any green kitchen is, of course, in the cleaning; make sure that you don’t use harsh corrosive chemicals when you’re cleaning your eco-kitchen.
Once you’ve greened up your kitchen, it’s easy to move into greening the rest of your home, one room at a time!