You may valiantly remember to tote your reusable bags to the grocery store each week and you may even stock up on organic foods, but did you know you could help the planet by changing the way you cook in your kitchen? Aside from comparing electric providers in Texas to find the best energy rates, there are a lot of simple ways you can change your habits in the kitchen to help provide a cleaner, greener world.
- Cook with small appliances
Stop cooking with your oven whenever you can. Instead, use small appliances to cook in a much more eco-friendly way. Heating up the oven takes a lot of energy and it can warm up your entire house or apartment. To cut back on cooling costs and energy used because of the oven, think of alternative solutions to prepare a meal. Try using a microwave or a toaster oven. They use significantly less energy and are a much greener option. If you have an outdoor grill, that's an even better choice. Grills use no electricity, add a distinct flavor to food and allow you to spend more time outdoors.
One of the greenest things you can do in the kitchen actually starts in the garden. Try growing your own produce for a truly eco-friendly cooking experience. There are many green benefits to having a garden. For example, you are in complete control of the chemicals used (or not used) on your produce and you can pick fresh food. By simply walking to your yard, you eliminate the transportation costs and emissions caused by getting fruits and veggies at the store. If you lack space or a green thumb, gardening may not be an option for you. As an alternative, consider buying produce at a farmers market to help reduce your carbon footprint. When you buy locally, you eliminate shipping costs, help the local economy and get fresher products.
Forgo the small appliances that take the place of some good old fashioned hand-held work. Instead of an electronic mixer, use an egg beater to whip up some cream or egg whites. Use a knife instead of a food processor to chop your vegetables. Each time you use your own energy in the kitchen, you can save conserve electricity, which reduces your carbon footprint and saves money. As an added bonus the little bit of extra elbow-grease you put in, could even help you burn some calories!
- Bake with ceramic or glass dishes
A great way to save energy when you cook is to bake with either ceramic or glass dishes. These materials help retain heat better than a metal dish and therefore need less energy to work. When baking with ceramic or glass dishes, you could lower the temperature on your oven by 25 degrees and still cook your food in the same amount of time.
When you cook on your stovetop, always use a lid. The only exception should be when a recipe specifically calls to cook something uncovered. Using a lid helps keep heat in the pan and can save up to two-thirds of the energy used by the burner.