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Eco Friendly Kitchen
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Steps to an Eco-Friendly Kitchen

Steps to an Eco-Friendly Kitchen

To “go green” means to convert your lifestyle into one that is that is more environmentally friendly. Such eco-friendly living can extend to all areas of the house, but it just may be the kitchen where the biggest benefits can be realized. An eco-friendly kitchen does not mean that you will immediately dispense with your appliances, rather it means giving thought to how you use your kitchen by applying efficient and waste reduction principles throughout.

Appliances

You do not need to replace your appliances at once to achieve a more sustainable kitchen. When you do shop for a new dishwasher, range or refrigerator, check out the EnergyStar rating of each appliance.

EnergyStar is the EPA’s way of measuring efficiency. The higher the rating, the more eco-friendly a product is. You want to choose an appliance that uses less electricity and emits fewer emissions. Refrigerators that have the EnergyStar rating consume 15 percent less energy than uncertified models.

Recycle

Your kitchen generates the most waste in the house after the bathrooms. While solid and other human waste is treated through your sewer or septic system, food waste is typically sent to the dump where it can take generations for plastics to decompose. Even then, the waste may be considerably toxic.

You can advance your environmentally friendly ways by using biodegradable kitchen bags only. Such bags will naturally compost and won’t linger in the environment. Also consider using biodegradable paper products such as towels and napkins to reduce your environmental impact.

Compost

So much of our food goes to waste. That may not be avoidable, but where your food and food scraps end up can be changed. Consider collecting your food and composting the same, to reduce your trash load and to provide green materials for your compost bin.

Use a kitchen compost bin to collect food scraps and transfer these when the bin is full to your compost bin or pile. Coffee grounds, fruit peels, bread, crushed egg shells and corn husk shells can be added. However, do not include meat, bones, dairy products, fireplace ashes, pet droppings or toxic materials. This last batch of materials can mess up your compost.

Lighting

Besides EnergyStar appliances, there are EnergyStar rated light bulbs that can reduce your energy output by 10 to more than 50 percent without compromising on lighting. The average bulb will save you more than $6 per year in energy, bulbs that can replace your stove light, your spotlights and other kitchen lighting.

When shopping for new bulbs, there are certain performance requirements including efficiency, lumen maintenance, lifetime, starting time and warm-up time. Also to consider are its safety, reliability, color consistency, its color rendering index, quality control and mercury control.

The Bottom Line

Taking steps toward making an eco-friendly kitchen can be incorporated gradually. When it comes time to gutting your kitchen for a complete makeover, you will want to dispose of your old fixtures in a responsible manner and buy new fixtures that meet the latest environmental standards.