Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Your Eco-Friendly Kitchen

I'm always looking for ways to make greener choices. Here are some tips for reducing waste in the kitchen:
  • Use a wet-erase marker (like Vis'a'vis brand) or a permanent marker to mark the opened or made date on containers stored in your refrigerator (like applesauce and leftovers). This way, you can keep track of what's good and what's got to go. For me, writing down the date keeps me more mindful of what's in my refrigerator and helps me to waste less.
  • Cloth napkins aren't just for fancy dinners. Replace paper napkins with an assortment of cloth napkins that can generally be used for multiple meals before washing (barring a three year old's spaghetti disaster!). Give each family member their own unique napkin holder to store their napkin for the next meal. With my young son, I also use a thin washcloth I can rinse and air dry between meals.
  • Use cold water for most kitchen tasks. Keep your faucet handle in the "cold" position (or reach for the cold handle) when using your kitchen sink. Turning on the hot water uses substantially more energy even before hot water actually begins to flow.
  • Buy and prep in bulk. Eliminate unnecessary packaging and pack left overs in reusable containers.

Some of the above tips come from a handy book called It's Easy Being Green--A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living by Crissy Trask. Some tips are from yours truly....

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