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We could all do a little more to look after the environment and world we live in. So why not make your New Year resolution for 2016 to make a conscious effort to adjust your kitchen habits, to become environmentally friendly.
We have put together some suggestions of how you could achieve this. Realistically you’re not going to take on everything in one go, so just pick a couple of approaches that you think you can manage.
Most of us already recycle, but to what extent? We appreciate that it’s not fun washing up food packaging and then sorting it into the correct category; and no one enjoys using a food bin! Whether you like it or not it is essential that we all make an effort when it comes to recycling, and there are ways you can make this manageable. Designate a cupboard for recycling and buy several different coloured containers. Laminate and stick a labelled sign to the front of each box so you don’t need to sort through everything each time it comes round to collection day. To banish any unpleasant odours try hanging up a couple of air fresheners in the cupboard.
With an average of up to 60% recyclable waste in our rubbish bins, imagine the difference we could make if we all made a recycling effort.
A lot of what we buy can be reused; we just have to think creatively and plan ahead.
Instead of buying kitchen roll which is used and then thrown away (most likely in the rubbish bin – not recycling), keep a basket of clean towels and dishcloths in a cupboard that you can use to mop up any spillages and then put in the washing basket to reuse when clean.
Recently in England we have been spending slightly more on our shopping trips due to the additional cost of carrier bags. Save yourself money and help the environment by investing in a couple of bags for life, then keep these in your car so they are always on hand when needed.
Save time and energy by cooking in bulk. If you’re going to make a pie or lasagne etc. then cook a large batch so you can refrigerate or freeze meals for the future.
Get creative when decorating by upcycling unwanted/unused items into something unique and eco-friendly.
There are numerous ways you can be more responsible when you shop. Buying local produce is a great way to support local businesses and the British economy, but also helps towards reducing transportation/importation costs and fuel.
When you need to purchase new cookware, invest in products that are designed to stand the test of time, such as stainless steel or cast iron.
With almost 7 million tonnes of UK household food and drink wasted each year, we need to increase our efforts to shop wisely. It’s easy to get distracted by the promotions in supermarkets, which is why making a list and sticking to it will save you from all the temptations on offer. Plan your meals and shopping lists in advance to buy and use your food wisely. When shopping it is also worth looking for products with less packaging, resulting in less waste.
Try your own DIY project at home by growing your own veg, fruit or herbs. As well as helping the environment, this will reduce your shopping bill and may even become a hobby.
There are endless ways in which you can save energy without affecting your lifestyle, some of which are more expensive than others, but these options are often investments that will result in saving energy and money on bills in the future. For instance new ovens don’t take any time to heat up, so every time you cook you will save those 10 minutes that you usually spend preheating the oven.
Reduce the number of appliances you use: two outdated small freezers is far less energy and cost efficient that using one large new freezer.
Using energy efficient appliance such as slow cookers and pressure cookers will help reduce energy and bills, as well as leaving you with delicious meals.
The majority of us use far more water and energy than is necessary when washing up. Wait till the dishwasher is full until you run it and when washing up by hand, fill half the sink with hot soapy water and the other half with tap water to rinse (don’t run the tap continuously).
Make sure you turn lights off when you leave a room, this takes no time at all but could save a lot of energy and cost. There are lots of ways to save on lighting: replace your bulbs with energy efficient bulbs, use lamps and candles instead of the main light, open curtains in the day and replace outdoor lighting with solar-powered alternatives.
We hope you enjoyed this article from Dream Doors and hopefully it inspires you to make an eco-friendly effort in your kitchen.