7 tips for an eco-friendly kitchen
Kitchens are the leading producers of waste and pollution in our homes, from the materials we use to how we go about disposing of food and appliances. Thankfully, there are many steps we can take to achieve an eco-friendly kitchen by assessing everything from what we eat, how we prepare it, and how we clean up afterwards. This not only benefits the planet, but also has a positive impact on the health of everyone in your home. Here are 7 tips to help turn your kitchen into a more eco-friendly space.
The cooking process creates a lot of indoor pollutants and contaminants that can cause health problems such as respiratory illness and asthma attacks. Ventilation works to combat this, and the most effective way to ventilate your kitchen is with a range hood. Range hoods move the air out of your kitchen during cooking when contaminants are most prominent. Many homeowners only use their range hoods to get rid of smells, smoke, or moisture, but contaminants are present during cooking even when these other factors aren’t. Use your range hood anytime you cook to have the best effect.
Use long-lasting materials
Low-quality cookware and utensils made of non-durable materials like Teflon can be easily damaged and thus require fairly frequent replacement compared to sturdier counterparts. High temperatures can also cause non-stick coatings to emit toxic fumes. This waste adds up. Rather than running to the store and purchasing a new item every time something gets too worn or damaged, try investing in items that will last years and possibly generations. Some ideas include:
- Stainless steel or cast iron cookware
- Stainless steel cooking utensils instead of wooden or plastic
- Cloth towels and napkins instead of paper
- Water filter and pitcher instead of plastic bottles
- Glass or steel food storage instead of plastic Tupperware
Use energy-efficient appliances
Many newer appliances have energy-efficient features that can be good for the environment. When purchasing new appliances, keep your eye out for the Energy Star rating as an indicator of eco-friendliness. If you’re a single person, assess your fridge needs. A smaller unit may be more than enough for you without wasting any space or energy cooling a half-empty appliance.
Repair before you replace (if you can)
If something seems amiss with an appliance, see if a repair can solve the issue before going out and making a new purchase. In many cases, a relatively simple fix can keep us from needing to scrap an old appliance.
If you do replace, recycle
If a repair won’t fix the issue or a replacement makes more economical and environmental sense, look into a take-back program for your old appliance. Many places offer this option, and it’s much better than sending the appliance to end up as a heap of metal in a landfill somewhere.
Wasted heat is wasted energy, which is bad for the environment. Make sure you use a properly sized pot when cooking on the stove. Using a 6-inch pot over an 8-inch burner, for example, wastes more than 40 percent of that burner’s heat. Using lids on pots and pans can also help reduce wasted heat and shorten your cooking time. In modern ovens, cooking more than one item at a time is often feasible and can have a positive energy impact, as well.
Wasting water is right up there with wasting heat when it comes to hazardous kitchen habits. Studies show using a dishwasher is more energy- and water-efficient than washing dishes by hand – but you can still waste water if you’re running the dishwasher when it’s only partly full. To have the most eco-friendly impact, only run your dishwasher at the end of the day when it’s full or close to full.
Make a commitment to sustainability with CopperSmith
At CopperSmith, creating products in an environmentally responsible way means doing more than just using recyclable materials. Funding wells, community activities, and promoting a sustainable lifestyle throughout our work is one of our primary goals. Supporting the environment means supporting people, which is why we will be implementing 100% recyclable packaging by 2022.
CopperSmith partners with the world’s greatest artisans, manufacturers, and industry-leading brands to deliver the industry’s highest-quality range hoods, sinks, tables, and more. Browse our catalog to find the perfect addition to your kitchen and give us a call at 1-952-800-9078 for prompt and reliable customer service.