You may not think that you really contribute to environmental degradation, but every kitchen across the world adds to this problem. You can minimise your footprint by becoming more energy efficient and eco-friendly in your own home. Environmental consciousness is rising in popularity and more people are looking to make their kitchen green. For the eco novice, these are five ways you can go green in your kitchen:
Possibly not the most popular suggestion, but eating less red meat is one of the most far-reaching things you can do to save the planet. Two-thirds of cattle raised on American soil are beefed up with hormones like steroids, testosterone, and progesterone; not only is this terrible for the animal's welfare, but the hormones pollute the earth and water, affecting fish and wildlife. You're also ingesting these chemicals yourself – nasty!
How much water do you think it takes to create one hamburger? The correct answer is 600 gallons. And for just a quarter-pound of beef, it takes two pounds of grain to produce. If our population slashed their meat intake from the normal 90kg a year to 53kg, carbon emissions would fall by 44%. Consider making a day meat-free every week, or if you've been looking for an excuse to make that final step towards vegetarianism – go for it!
When you cook your pasta or veggies, be sure to put a lid on it. Cooking without lids uses up to three times more energy, so cover your pan save heat – your food will be cooked quicker too! Buy range cookers at rangecookers.co.uk that are energy efficient and use the residual heat to finish off your dishes, instead of cranking up the temperature all the way through food preparation.
Know what you need before you open your fridge. Umming and erring over what you're going to make for dinner with the fridge wide open, is exceptionally wasteful of energy. Double check that your fridge is closed properly after use, and replace any old models that use up a lot of electricity.
Packaging is a nightmare and creates mounds of garbage. Try to buy your groceries without any plastic covering and avoid packaging when you can. Buy staple foods in bulk, so you don't end up with extra bags.
When you just can't avoid packaging, make sure you always recycle. You should know what your recycling company accepts in advance, so choose packaging that can go in this bin.
Schedule in a weekly shop which carries you onto the next week, so you don't need to make a dash for the stores, wasting fuel and time. A great way to tide you over when the cupboards are bare is to keep leftovers. When you cook a lasagne or a cottage pie, make it in bulk, so you can freeze the rest in individual storage containers. Come Friday, you can tuck into a fuss-free meal, and you don't even have to cook! Do some research online for recipe ideas. You might be surprised at what you can throw together, without needing to pop to the shops.