Going Green: 11 Tips for a Healthier Kitchen

VIGO_mar15_greenkitchen

If you want to go green and start saving energy, water, and money, start small in your kitchen with these simple tips.

  1. Use fewer paper products – Ditch the paper plates and towels.  Use real plates and cotton towels and napkins.  Make sure they’re also eco-friendly.  Stick with fabrics like organic cotton.  Check out these sites for more helpful tips: Greenpeace.org and NRDC.org.
  2. Replace your light bulbs with energy saving light bulbs – When your bulbs go out, buy energy efficient ones.  Check the labels for CFL or Compact Fluorescent Light.  These bulbs use less energy and last several years which is 8-15 times longer than an incandescent light bulb.
  3. Use the dishwasher – Dishwasher uses less water than hand washing.  Also, make sure it’s full!  When shopping for a dishwasher, get one that is energy efficient.  Don’t have a dishwasher?  Turn off water when doing dishes.  Soak your dishes in a dishpan with warm soapy water before you start washing them.  This will make cleaning them much faster.
  4. Don’t buy cleaning products, buy the ingredients – Use green cleaning products to clean your bathroom because harsh chemicals are bad for the environment, your bathroom fixtures and pipes, and more importantly you.  Use homemade products like mixtures of vinegar and baking soda to clean as much as you can.  Check out these ideas.
  5. Keep in mind what’s going down your drain – Whatever you pour down your drain has an impact on the environment.  Make sure liquids like motor oil and other harsh chemicals stay as far from the drain as possible.  Find out where you can dispose of these products here.
  6. Recycle recyclables – Be sure you aren’t throwing away that empty juice bottle with the rest of your trash.  Plastic bottles and anything with a recycling label on it should be recycled.  Also, consider composting.  Composting is recycling any organic matter you have at home, like egg shells, fruit and vegetable scraps and other kitchen waste, and turning it into, well, dirt.
  7. Invest in reusable grocery bags – and then use them!  Plastic bags clutter your house and pollute the earth.  Cloth bags are bigger and stronger and can carry more and some stores give you discounts for using them.  Forgot your bags?  Bring them back to the store for recycling.
  8. Use the toaster oven – When you don’t need the big ol’ oven, no need to heat it up.  When you just need to heat up a little thing, use the toaster oven.
  9. Ditch the plastic – Stop buying water bottles and start filtering your water and filling a reusable water bottle.  Use cloth baggies or containers instead of plastic baggies for leftovers or the kid’s lunches.
  10. Buy in bulk and items with less packaging – Buying products with less packaging means less material used and more trees saved.  Buying in bulk when you can, means less packaging as well.
  11. Fix drips and leaks – If you have a dripping faucet in your kitchen you should call a professional or fix it yourself as soon as possible.

Do you have a tip for going green in the bathroom?  Let us know in the comments!

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