Green Projects for the Kitchen

Green living is not something that is going to happen overnight. You will need to look around your home and realize that certain changes need to be made. Today’s blog will start with changes in the kitchen. Of course, all these changes probably cannot be made all at once. You may not be able to afford to change out all your appliances – I know I couldn’t! But, knowing how to make your kitchen greener will help you do the right then when it comes time to make changes.

If you don’t already have energy-saving appliances, consider purchasing one next time a kitchen appliance breaks down. Not only will you be helping the environment, you will also be saving money for yourself. When purchasing new appliances, especially a refrigerator, look for the ENERGY STAR logo. ENERGY STAR appliances use 10 to 15% less energy and water than other models. While the appliances themselves may be a bit more expensive than the standard models, you will notice the difference in your electric and water bills.

The Energy Guide Label will give you an idea of how much you will be saving. The Federal Trade Commission requires that all new appliances (other than ranges, microwaves, and dryers) have this yellow and black label. The label gives you an estimate of the annual energy consumption by the appliance, so you can compare the ENERGY STAR appliance to a standard model.

Lighting is also another change you can make in the kitchen. Consider installing a skylight in your kitchen. While that will take remodeling, you can do something as simple as changing to compact florescent or LED bulbs. These bulbs last between five and twenty times longer and use about 25% less electricity.

Make sure all your kitchen cleaners are green. Clorox has a whole line of cleaners called Green Works that is made with plant and mineral based ingredients. And, if you go to their web page, you can download a money saving coupon.

And don’t forget other products you use in the kitchen such as napkins. Seventh Generation makes natural napkins that are unbleached, and a 100% post-consumer mixture of phonebooks, corrugated boxes, and newspaper. I have a pack in my kitchen right now. You should also have reusable grocery bags to avoid getting the plastic bags that are so bad for the environment.

Finally, there’s the old standby of recycling. My grandmother used to wash and reuse her Ziploc bags. That is a great way to recycle that many of you may not think about.

Remember that no matter how small a step you take in living green, it is a step in the right direction.