The amount of time that we spend in our kitchens seems to ever be growing so improving one of the most important parts of our home is something we all can benefit from.
When choosing green products for our kitchens it is always important to take a close look at the cost vs the benefit. If you find a product that can save you time and money that is the most important reason for making the purchase.
Having a close friend that ran a produce store it was always interesting to see people spending a little more for packaged salads and serving trays.. one day I took notice of a customer making a purchase and asked them why they would buy a vegetable snack tray when they could buy the same vegetables and cut them up themselves. The reason she gave me was there just wasn’t enough time and after pricing the cost of vegetables vs a packaged tray and considering she could simply pull the tray out put it on a nice platter and have some healthy snacks in minutes I agreed.
Spending a little more money up front may mean that you can spend more time with your family… now that may or may not be attractive but there are other reasons such as saving money on electricity and just simple convenience.
Often green products go through more research and development time so they can end up being better products when compared against any other selection… no matter how much electricity, water or other consumables they use.
Selecting Energy Efficient Appliances
Many people will suggest that you look for energy star rated appliances during your selection process and this is a good idea but it is only a start.
When selecting a refrigerator you should know that side by side models and those with water and ice features in your door can end up using a lot of extra energy even if they are rated energy star approved. This is due to leaks that occur around the door and opening for the features.
Size is also important a smaller refrigerator paired with a chest freezer for storing bulk frozen food may end up saving you time and money. You can purchase products in bulk, save leftovers or freeze garden vegetables for year round use and because the chest freezer is out of the way it is not likely to be opened very often.
That simple idea can save you electricity, gas to visit the grocer more often and improve your quality of life along with saving you money.
For preparing food a sturdy food processor can reduce your time in the kitchen and help you prepare meals and food you may normally buy prepackaged.
In the summer you can use your food processor to prepare freezer bags full of vegetables from your garden for storage.
When selecting products for use in your kitchen such as cabinets, flooring, counter tops it is important to select items that can be cleaned quickly and without much effort.
The more effort you need to put into cleaning also means the higher the likelihood you will need to consume additional products such as special cleaners, polishes which can be expensive and also not so great for direct contact with your food.
Higher gloss paints and urethane finishes and also glazes on tiles that will repel stains and not absorb liquids are best. If you have stone in your kitchen you should keep it in good condition and not allow hot items or products with acid (soda, citrus, tomato sauce) to stay on the surface long.
Low VOC paints are great at the time you are painting your kitchen because they contain less Volatile Organic Chemicals. However once the paint has dried there is no real difference. Choosing to use this type of paint really depends on how soon the kitchen needs to go back into service and whether you can open windows in winter months.
Reducing Vampire Electricity Use
It is important to unplug your appliances when you are not using them. Too many products today consume electricity when they are in standby or simply plugged in.
Throughout your home depending on the items you use or aren’t using .. you may find a loss of a few dollars a year, month or maybe even a few dollars a day can be saved.
When doing an energy audit of your home your kitchen should not be overlooked.
When you consider how much you throw away in your kitchen it seems amazing that any food actually makes it to the plate. Just make a large pot of soup and you will find you have a small bag worth of potato and carrot peels and lots of parts you end up throwing away.
Vegetable products from your kitchen can be recycled and mulched but you should no mix in general waste or meat, dairy or other animal proteins that can attract flies.
Packaging materials can also be recycled, Aluminum cans and plastic bottles can be brought to recycling centers for money.
Glass and Plastic containers with good resealable lids can be used in the kitchen or around the home. A large pickle jar is great for collecting coins and smaller containers can be used for storing leftover paint and other products.
If you can reuse a container then you save yourself the need to buy one.
Plastic shopping bags are a big concern for the environment. Reuse them as liners for your personal sized trash cans in bathrooms and bedrooms. They are also great for collecting food like tomatoes from your garden.