4 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Kitchen This Year
Monday, April 7, 2014
This year, everyone is talking about going green and not just to reduce their impact on the environment. In many cases, being eco-friendly at home means saving money in the long run. Making responsible choices like investing in proper home insurance and reducing your carbon footprint is what we're all about, so with that in mind we've put together a few tips to go green in the kitchen that will save you money and maintain our environment for years to come.
1. Invest In a Water Filter
If you're picky about the water you drink - and we don't blame you - you probably spend more than you think buying all of those water bottles. Instead of buying bottled water every time you want to rehydrate, Better Homes and Gardens recommends that you invest in a water filter and a reusable water bottle. Not only will you save money in a matter of months, you will be helping to reduce the impact on the environment that is caused every year by the production, transportation and disposal of all of those water bottles that get thrown away.
2. Use Your Dishwasher
Many homeowners think that doing dishes by hand is the most eco-friendly way of cleaning. This simply isn't the case, though, according to This Old House. In fact, it takes about 90 liters to do a full dishwasher load of dishes by hand, while an energy efficient dishwasher only uses about 15 liters. You should also avoid pre-washing, because unless you have a particularly old or broken dishwasher, it probably isn't necessary.
3. Invest in Low-Flow Faucets
You don't need to use a lot of water to get good water pressure. For around $10, you can buy an aerator that will add air to your faucet and reduce your water use simultaneously. This can save you five to 10 liters of water per day, meaning that the device will quickly pay for itself.
4. Check Your Refrigerator
A refrigerator is commonly one of the largest users of energy in the kitchen, meaning that one of the best ways to go green is to get a new, energy efficient model. If you aren't ready to make that financial outlay just yet, though, consider a few of these tips:
- Check the temperature with a thermometer - While there is a thermostat inside your refrigerator, it can become inaccurate over time. If your refrigerator is too hot, it won't keep your food from going off, but if it's too cold, it is wasting electricity. Put a thermometer into a glass of water and wait for the water to adjust. If the temperature is different from your refrigerator's thermostat, adjust appropriately.
- Test the seals - The seals around your refrigerator and freezer door keep the cold air from slipping out. If you're losing a lot of cold air, that means your appliance has to work harder, costing you money. Close a small piece of paper in the door and then try to slip it out. If there isn't much resistance, that means that your seals aren't tight enough and you should call your manufacturer to see how you can repair the door.
- Keep your refrigerator out of the light - The hotter the temperature is on the outside of a refrigerator, the harder the appliance has to work to maintain the cool inside temperature. If at all possible, keep your refrigerator somewhere in the shade where it will not be heated by the sun. If you can't move the appliance, at least close the blinds to keep things cool.
By following these tips, not only will you save a little money, you will be helping to preserve our environment for the future of your family. While you're at it, review your home insurance policy to make sure that your family has adequate coverage.