Green Kitchen Fodder

I am new to independent living. I only recently departed my lovely college campus where I could easily hop into the dining hall when I wanted a meal. I also lived in on-campus housing, which meant I paid a flat rate for the semester no matter what utilities cost. Thus, I had no incentive to be super conscious of the energy consumption within my tiny apartment kitchen.

Currently, I live on my own (with the company of three housemates), pay my portion of the gas and electricity bills, and cook for myself. Not having done a great deal of cooking in my past, I am slowly learning the tricks of the trade. I stumbled upon an article this morning and thought that it gave some interesting pointers about how to show some respect for the environment while keeping busy in the kitchen. Lisa Abraham, with the Seattle Times, makes these points:

  • Limit the time the stove/oven is used: small kitchen appliances that can do the job of a gas or electric stove use less energy – even if it’s a slow cooker that’s on for hours at a time.

My thoughts: What I find hard to accept is that more is better. Lisa is saying that if you have more kitchen appliances, then you’re consuming less energy. This means that we should go out and purchase lots of small kitchen appliances, right? What about the energy and natural resources required to produce these appliances? Unfortunately, I do not have the answer. My suggestion would be: use the appliances you have, and follow the tricks that Lisa mentions about reducing the time the oven is on.

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables, less meat: for more on this you can check out New Dream's Food page.

  • Run an energy efficient kitchen: newer appliances use less energy, gas stoves use less than electric, etc.

If you decide to go out and buy a super energy efficient stove, be sure to recycle or donate the one you disown.

  • Eat seasonally and buy locally.

Going to a local farmers market is just more fun than the grocery store and it’s an easy way to find out what’s in season. Meet up with some friends, peruse the vegetable stands, buy some goodies, and then make breakfast (or brunch)!

  • Be waste-conscious.

Compost food scraps! Don’t have a composter? Build one yourself! I have neglected to do this and continually notice that food scraps account for a significant portion of my household’s waste. This would also be a great way to get involved in the community. Recruit some neighbors to help you build your bin, accept food scrap donations, and share your compost when it’s ready!

Check out the full article from the Seattle Times: Green kitchen: A recipe for being more environmentally friendly.

Tags: Cater to the earth, Food, Food waste

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