Do you want to run a greener kitchen? Would you love to brag about increasing the energy sustainability of your home? Do you just want to save money on household expenses so you can buy more energy-eating gadgets for your home? If the answer is yes to any or all of those questions, then your path to success starts with reducing the carbon footprint inside your kitchen. Put as many of the following tips to work inside your kitchen and you will be able to brag whether you are surrounded by a bunch of liberal tree-huggers, eco-anarchists or Republican businessmen.
Gas Ranges with Electronic Ignition
If you are lucky enough to have the choice between cooking with a gas range or electric range, the choice is clear. Cooking with gas gives you far greater control over how much heat you use, which translates into savings on energy and cost. You knew that already, right? But did you know that gas ranges are capable of cutting back on 50% of CO2 emissions in your kitchen if you replace your current electric range? You can also reduce the carbon footprint and save money by upgrading from gas to gas. A gas range equipped with electronic ignition will save you the money that is currently being wasted keeping a pilot light constantly lit. The older your current gas range, the more money you will save by upgrading to one with electronic ignition because many older models require just as much gas to keep the pilot light running whether the gas is being used to cook or not.
Unplug the Microwave
Do you use your microwave oven as a kitchen clock when it’s not in use? Did you know that you could potentially be paying more for that one digital read-out of the time over the life of your microwave than you would for all the non-digital clocks you will ever use? Depending on the model and age of your microwave oven, the energy and cost of electricity required to do nothing more than tell the time could ultimately equal the energy and cost of electricity it takes to heat all the food you put into the appliance over its life cycle.
It’s so simple and obvious that it seems too simple and obvious to make much difference. Using one burner on your stove to prepare and entire meal uses far less energy–whether supplied by gas or electricity–than using multiple burners. This path to a greener kitchen can be further improved by putting a lid on it. Food prepared in a pot with a lid on it utilizes the existing heat more efficiently to the potential tune of reducing the energy required by as much as two-thirds. Investing in high quality anodized aluminum pots with a flat bottom surface that ensures equal distribution of heat can increase savings even more. Smart shopping ahead of time for bargains on ingredients like stock, stew meat, frozen vegetables and other items you can easily blend together for chili, soup or any other type of one-pot family-sized meals will only add to the money you save and reduce the carbon footprint you leave by making multiple trips to the supermarket.